Mystery, murder, laughs and love. The Thin Man has it all and a dog to top it off.
When inventor Mr. Wynant hears the good news that his daughter, Dorothy (Maureen O’Sullivan) is getting married, he goes to fetch the savings bonds he’s been saving for her, only to find them missing. After a fruitless search and a fight with his wife, she is found dead and he goes missing. Poor Dorothy is worried sick about her father and asks an old friend of her family’s Nick Charles (William Powell) a former detective to help look for him.
Now, Nick has been out of the detective game for a few years and he’s not willing to just go barreling into a murder case. It’s really his wife, Nora (Myrna Loy) who convinces him to get involved with the case. Her reason? It’s all terribly exciting! Of course, when things get dangerous she has her second thoughts, but Nick can’t back out. That would be chicken.
Nick is an interesting fellow. He’s cocky, smart and is usually three steps ahead of everyone, but when he isn’t his luck and quick wits make him seem like it was all part of the plan. It’s always kinda fun how that just turns out. His wife, Nora shares the same type of charm. She’s always supportive, but often with a thin layer of sarcasm and can worry about her husband in dangerous situations. Let’s not forget the baby in the family; the couple has a cute little dog, Asta, who accompanies Nick and even helps uncover some big clues.
The film feels like comedy noir. There’s a good mix of crime, comedy, drama and mystery that keeps fresh and exciting until the end. The great amount of comedy keeps the whole film light, but not flimsy. And of course, Powell and Loy make a great duo any day as they did in many, many films.
I recommend this film to anyone who wants to see what a good comedy/mystery can be. Today, this genre is one that isn’t taken seriously. Ace Ventura could fit in this category. And we’ve all heard of rounding up all the suspects for dinner to see who’s guilty, this film that scene best.
“That’s a girl with hair on her chest.”