Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm much too busy seeing that you don't lose any of the money I married you for. - The Thin Man

Can you imagine any movie in the last five years that would be appreciated after nearly eighty years. I cannot think of one!

The Thin Man, made in 1934, is timeless and does not make you feel antiquated. The credit for it must go to the fun and witty dialogue of the husband-wife duo, Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) along with their chuckle-inducing dog, Asta. Nick Charles , a retired private investigator, is approached by Dorothy (Maureen O'Sullivan) to locate her missing father, Clyde Wynant . Nick is not too eager to take up this assignment.This is what he says to his rich wife Nora :

" I haven't the time. I'm much too busy seeing that you don't lose any of the money I married you for." 

With the murder of Wynant's girlfriend, Julia, Wynant is the prime suspect and members of the Wynant clan plead Nick Charles to help them.Nick is too busy enjoying a drink too many and still refuses to get involved in the case. Nora wants some excitement and eggs Nick to start the investigation. Their light banter edged with sarcasm seems like a good camouflage for their romance.

Nora Charles: Pretty girl. (about Dorothy)
Nick Charles: Yes. She's a very nice type.
Nora Charles: You got types?
Nick Charles: Only you, darling. Lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.

When Nick narrowly escapes getting shot at, he decided to plunge into the case. Nora, although, fearful for Nick, enjoys the thrill of the investigation.The case takes a turn like a good who-dun-it when Nick invites the murderer to a fun dinner party, which includes policemen dressed as stewards waiting to serve fish.
 Although The Thin Man continued to be a successful series of films, it is unclear who the actual Thin Man is. Internet sources reveal that Wynant was alluded to as the Thin Man in the movie but it seems to have stuck to the detective, Nick Charles. Maybe my viewings of the other Thin Man series would reveal more.

A fun movie to watch on a sultry summer afternoon when you wish to see something that is cross between an Agatha Christie mystery and an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

(PS: I was very impressed by the dress worn by Myrna Loy in the Christmas party scene. Another reason to believe that this movie does not feel like 1934. Enclosing a picture of it below)


Arvind said...

so, you finally arrived at the Thin Man. good. you seem to be on a writing roll too.

cross between Hitchcock and Christie sounds very sombre, dont it? you must think of throwing in another similie to represent the comedy. say, how about cross between Christie and a Cary Grant screwball?

the movie is full of witty repartee and banter between the couple, eh?

i love that line at the dinner table with all the suspects. the hostess says... 'waiter, serve the nuts'. pauses and says again... 'waiter, serve the guests the nuts'.

you didnt mention anything about the dog. :)

Arvind said...

oh... by the way, the answer to the first question.. Avatar?