Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Thin Man (1934)

Booze! This movie's about booze! Sure, there's a mystery and some comedy too, but really this is a story about how a married couple overcomes hangovers and delirium tremens to catch a killer. As rich marrieds/amateur sleuths/professional drunkards Nick & Nora Charles, William Powell and Myrna Loy sparkle like Martini & Rossi. They're an irresistibly cute couple. (I mean, they even make silly faces at each other. You can't get more endearing.) In addition to working well together, Powell & Loy are talented enough to wrestle the script's wide swaths of expository dialogue without it feeling, well, expository. The film's mix of comedy and mystery is generally a pleasing one -- the two genres are able to coexist impressively, even if the mystery plot feels a tad undernourished. The point is, this is Powell & Loy's show all the way, and they're up to the challenge (not that the martinis don't help). Best line: "Is your husband working on a case?" "Yes, a case of scotch. Care to help him out?"

Grade: B+


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