Thin Man, The (1934)

The Thin Man (1934), directed by W. S. Van Dyke.

The movie didn't need to remind viewers at the time, but Prohibition was repealed -- by Constitutional amendment -- on December 5, 1933. Nick and Nora Charles celebrate throughout the film. She over-indulges but he is constantly inebriated, which does not stop him from cracking a tough murder case.

First of fourteen pairing of William Powell and Myrna Loy, including five more "Thin Man" movies. Their banter and loving acid wit became a model for sophisticated fans of romantic comedies. I know couples who still do the routine, proof that style and personal flair can survive marriage.

Maureen O'Sullivan is the young friend whose father is missing. She was Jane in the first six Tarzan films and did the rather erotic pre-Code Tarzan and His Mate (1934) the same year.

Wire-haired fox terrier "Asta" is played by hard-working "Skippy", last seen in The Awful Truth (1937) and Bringing Up Baby (1938).

Note that the "thin man" of the title is the murder victim. The label continued to be used for the series and people just presumed it referred to William Powell.

Photographed by James Wong Howe.

Available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive.