Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)

In this, the second to last Thin Man movie, the Charles visit Nick's parents. Nora is offended by Nick's father's dismissive attitude towards her husband's career choice, so she decides to take action. Everyone in town seem to think Nick is working on a case anyhow, so she decides to "shake the tree" a bit. A case will present itself, and if his father sees how great of a detective Nick is, all will be right in the universe.

A case is presented when a man is shot to death at their door. Lots of suspects, lots of side stories, lots of hidden information that proves critical. Typical Thin Man stuff. Except, Nick is off the sauce. Apparently the Senior Charles doesn't approve of the Devil's tonic, so Nickie is on the cider. Gone too is Nickie Junior. He stayed home because he loves kindergarten so much. That's right. When visiting the grandparents, they leave the grandchild behind and bring the dog.

This movie was supposed to have been filmed in '42 but Myrna decided to get married instead. They took up filming when the war and Myrna's marriage were winding down. Here, Loy's character openly pokes fun at the genre, first when describing one of Nick's cases to Dad. She tells how Nick tricked a suspect into revealing that he wasn't really crippled. Dad (a doctor) asked why he just didn't have a doctor check him out, which is what would have happened in real life. Also at the end, when Nick gathers all of the suspects together, Nora chats excitedly about the big pay off. She did that in earlier movies, but it seemed more overt here.

I think I liked this one more than the previous few. Nothing tops the first, but I do feel the need to see it again. Someday, when feeling rich, I may buy the complete set and watch them back to back. Loy was still hot at the cusp of 40 and Powell was still witty even without the sauce. The move from a stuffy mansion or cityscape to anytown, USA made for a nice change of scenery. It's sad to know there's only one left. AMRU 4.0.

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