The Thin Man (film)

The Thin Man (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Thin Man

writer = Dashiell Hammett (novel)
Albert Hackett
Frances Goodrich
starring = William Powell
Myrna Loy
director = W.S. Van Dyke
producer = Hunt Stromberg
distributor = MGM
released = May 23 1934 (USA)
music = William Axt
runtime = 93 min.
language = English
country = USA
amg_id = 1:49456
imdb_id = 0025878
budget = $226,408 (est.)
followed_by = "After the Thin Man"

"The Thin Man" was the first of six comic detective films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a hard-drinking and flirtatious married couple who banter wittily as they solve crimes with ease. Their dog, the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier Asta, played by Skippy, was also a popular character. Somehow, after drinking a lot of alcohol, Nick never seems to get a headache or even seem seriously drunk, aside from a little wobble every now and then.

Completed in 1934 and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, the film was directed by W.S. Van Dyke from a script by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich; the screenplay was based on the novel "The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett, supposedly based on his relationship with playwright Lillian Hellman. Also appearing in the film were Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell, Cesar Romero, Porter Hall, Henry Wadsworth, William Henry, Harold Huber and Natalie Moorhead.

The "Thin Man" of the title was actually the lead suspect, but the name was thought by virtually everyone to refer to Nick Charles, and it was used in the titles of the sequels, although no one ever called him that.

In 1997, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry after being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."


Nick Charles, a retired detective, and his wife Nora are attempting to settle down when he's pulled back into service by a friend's disappearance and possible involvement in a murder. The friend, Clyde Wynant (the "thin man" referenced by the film's title), has mysteriously vanished just after his former lover was found dead. Wynant quickly becomes the prime suspect, but his daughter Dorothy can't believe he did it. She convinces Nick to take the case much to the amusement of his socialite wife. With a drink in his hand and a smirk on his face, the detective stumbles off to find clues. The mystery deepens as the empty martini glasses and dead bodies pile up. Between witty exchanges, the couple manages to piece things together. The murderer is finally revealed in an amusing dinner-party scene, featuring all of the suspects.


*William Powell as Nicholas 'Nick' Charles
*Myrna Loy as Nora Charles
*Skippy as Asta
*Maureen O'Sullivan as Dorothy Wynant
*Nat Pendleton as Lt. John Guild
*Minna Gombell as Mimi Wynant
*Porter Hall as MacCaulay
*Henry Wadsworth as Tommy
*William Henry as Gilbert Wynant
*Harold Huber as Nunheim
*Cesar Romero as Chris Jorgenson
*Natalie Moorhead as Julia Wolf
*Edward Ellis as Clyde Wynant
*Edward Brophy as Joe Morelli [Brophy would return to the cast in 1944 as Brogan in "The Thin Man Goes Home".]


Some of the interior scenes were shot inside the Bidwell Mansion in Chico, California.


*In the 1976 comedy spoof movie "Murder by Death", the characters of Nick and Nora Charles became Dick and Dora Charleston, played by David Niven and Maggie Smith.
*In the 2005 animated film "Hoodwinked!", the character Nicky Flippers, a frog detective voiced by David Ogden Stiers, was based on Nick Charles.
*The title characters of the 2008 comedy-drama film "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" are presumably named after these characters, but they only share the first names.


See also

* List of United States comedy films

External links

* The Internet Archive [ holds a radio adaptation of the film, originally broadcast on June 8, 1936] by Lux Radio Theater.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • The Adventures of the Thin Man — radio series, initially starring Les Damon, was broadcast on all four major radio networks during the years 1941 to 1950. Claudia Morgan had the female lead role of Nora Charles throughout the program s entire nine year run. The radio series was… …   Wikipedia

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