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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Thin Man (1934)

A retired detective (William Powell) and his rich wife (Myrna Loy) are vacationing in New York when an old friend (Edward Ellis) goes missing. His daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan) asks the detective to find him. But it turns out that the missing man may be hiding out because he's a murderer ..... or is he? Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett and directed by W.S. Van Dyke. The screenplay by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich (a married couple) turn Hammett's murder mystery into a screwball comedy so that you get two for the price of one and the result is one of the most entertaining films of the decade. Witty and sassy, the film spawned five more sequels and though they vary in quality, there's not a stinker in the bunch. The chemistry between Powell and Loy leaps off the screen and it's pure bliss to see them interact with each other. Cinematically, it's rather unusual in that we see a married couple thoroughly in love with each other and boozing it up delightedly without the political correctness of suggesting they're functioning alcoholics. With Cesar Romero, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell, Porter Hall, Edward Brophy and the scene stealing Skippy as Asta. 

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