The Thin Man

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Francis A Carr, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. knob twirler

    knob twirler Forum Resident

    Chapel Hill, NC
    I managed to lose the last two and the documentary from the box in my last move. Had to buy them again, even though I don’t even *like* Song of the Thin Man. That’s the geek collector sickness in microcosm, I think:)
    Dennis Metz likes this.
  2. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Murfreesboro, TN
    Even though I’m a big Hammett fan and know how mgm tried to turn this series into a more family friendly one with the later sequels...

    These are absolute gems and must sees. Because of these I’ve been in love with Myrna Loy since I was a kid. One tries and fails miserably to emulate Powell’s staggeringly phenomenal delivery.

    I hadn’t gotten to see the later sequels until a year or two ago. Despite their lesser reputation and certainly coming way after the Code was set they are enjoyable and fun watches. As for availability the boxset is super expensive and the discs are replicated in two TCM four film collections much as the OOP Tarzan sets were repacked without their bonus discs.

    However I lucked out and found the Laserdisc boxset for five bucks which has the same masters for the sequels as the dvds and is a wonderful set. It’s a nice big lovely display piece and can be had for next to nothing.

    And as much as the first film is regarded as a classic I think the second is its equal and probably superior. After the third film the tone of the series changes but these later films are still surpringly good for the most part.

    Lastly, if you haven’t seen it and love the Thin Mans, try Libeled Lady with Powell/Loy which is one of the absolute great classic American screwball comedies.
    xilef regnu likes this.
  3. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Chicago, IL USA
    Curiously, I actually like this one, maybe because I played the clarinet and a main character was a clarinetist, and it had a musical theme with a lot of mid-forties "hipster lingo". I always admired the look and style of all the series' films, which never lapsed in to B territory. Almost in common with the Bond series, it was always considered a first rate series, with a loyal following.

    Lots of actors in Hollywood fought aging or maturing as it was sometimes called. Jack Benny wrote in his autobiography that George Burns was (in his mind) the person who best understood it and suggested to Jack that he (and other, including himself) should age. After all, Burns said, we can't just play young dating people all our lives. I think the studio was proud of Nick and Nora as being a couple who did age, had kids etc. What I remember liking about them is, unlike my parents, they seemed to keep their humor and party-happy lifestyle throughout all the changes.

    While Woody Van Dyke did not direct, and Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket, the married script-writing team who did most (but not all) the others didn't write it, I still feel it was of high quality. I too had a crush on Myrna Loy. Apparently in real like, so did a lot of men. She was married (and divorced) four times. What a beautiful face and lovely voice!!!
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    xilef regnu likes this.
  4. BradF

    BradF Forum Resident

    SW Ontario
    Oh gawd, now it's in my head again, Blondie Bumstead singing Smoke Dreams at the Lychee Club.
    Steve Litos likes this.
  5. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    Time for a Thin Man marathon :cheers:
  6. Beer Milk Shake

    Beer Milk Shake Forum Resident

    Also why the series still packs a punch...
    " The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time. " Nick Charles
  7. RolandG

    RolandG Forum Resident

    Still my favourite dialogue:

    Nick: I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune.
    Nora: I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids.
    Nick: It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.
    chili555, Dok, Hadean75 and 3 others like this.
  8. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Chicago, IL USA
    The Thin Man's screenwriters were Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, who were a married couple. Although some of it comes direct from the book, many (including me) believe the film's dialogue and rapport were even better than in the book. I'd credit William Powell, Myrna Loy and director WS (AKA: One Take Woody) Van Dyke with this. I suspect some of the disappointment with later issues such as Song of the Thin Man is due to Van Dyke's not directing (Van Dyke died in 1943). He was known as a "pace" director, who shot so quickly, he got a fast-paced, very improvised feel to his films. But, the Hackett/Goodrich dialogue really nailed the husband/wife relationship and that, more than anything, really made the series work.
  9. Hadean75

    Hadean75 Forum Moonlighter

    FritzL likes this.
  10. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    I don' think anyone could play half-bombed as well as William Powell. That first scene where he is showing the bartenders how to make a proper martini while his ass is bouncing around to the music sets the tone perfectly. Those movies are so witty and fun, largely because of the chemistry of the two stars. Who wouldn't want to be married to a beautiful woman who's reaction to finding you drunk in a bar is to try and catch up? :uhhuh:
    Jazzmonkie and vinnie like this.
  11. redsmith7887

    redsmith7887 Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    It's why I started drinking.
    Oliver likes this.
  12. JAuz

    JAuz Forum Resident

    For what it's worth, an HD version of the first movie is listed as available to stream on both Amazon Video and iTunes. I can't vouch for the quality though.
  13. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    TCM is showing all six "Thin Man" films, next Wednesday night, Thursday morning, May 23-24.
    xilef regnu and kevinsinnott like this.
  14. BeaTleBob5

    BeaTleBob5 John, Paul, George, Ringo & Bob

    I have all of the movies. Myrna Loy & William Powell were pure magic on the screen together.

    Powell is one of the best "deadpan" comedians in the history of cinema. For example in his last role as Doc in Mister Roberts, the scene where the sailors are filing one at a time before the "Doc" (Powell), trying to fake a sickness in order to get a sick leave, is priceless. It's one of my favourite comedy scenes of any movies and it's all because of William Powell's performance.
    Alan G., kevinsinnott and Dok like this.
  15. xilef regnu

    xilef regnu Forum Resident

    Another weight loss thread.
  16. ZippyPippy

    ZippyPippy Forum Resident

    A crossword puzzle staple
    Jazzmonkie and The Panda like this.

Share This Page