The Thin Man

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The Thin Man

Postby locke » Thu May 28, 2009 2:49 pm

The Thin Man is one of the greatest dectective stories, one of the greatest mysteries, one of the greatest comedies and one of the greatest movies of the thirties. It's been a favorite of mine since I first saw it five or six years ago. The couple times I've watched it since then I had cooled slightly towards the film, but rewatching it last night was like the magical and wonderful first viewing of the film. Discovering this film is such a fantastic experience because it is so astonishingly appealing, compelling and engaging.

The Thin Man refers to the mystery of Mr. Wynette, a crotchety inventor with a bizarre family. He's annoyed at all the distractions and has scheduled a long sabbatical from everyone so he can work in peace. Just before he leaves, his daughter visits him to let him know she's getting married at Christmas. He approves and before he leaves he makes some visits about getting some money for his daughter's wedding gift. The people he encounters will all be important later (as in most mysteries) and then he walks out of the picture, his long thin shadow preceding him. A few months later, the murders start.

And as the murders start, it turns out reknowned but retired dectective Nick Charles is in town with his wife Nora and their dog Asta for a vacation. Nick and Nora are ebullient drunkards, but they're both very smart and astute circumstances toss them into the family turmoil just as the murders begin, and although Nick protests extensively about not wanting to be drawn into the case eventually he realizes he's too mixed up in the case to ignore it and the only way out is to solve it. And his brilliance comes into play culminating in a scene that would make Agatha Christie proud.

And despite all this drama going on, the film is a comedy. but it's not particularly a slap stick comedy, it is a comedy of wit, the double entendres are sly and fast, the multiple meanings and misinterpretations are excellent and overall the dialogue sparkles with the sort of humor that is an absolute rarity to come across today--for every joke you're laughing at there's probably another you're missing.

"I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids."
"That's not true, he never came anywhere near my tabloids."

"Waiter, you may serve the nuts now."
*significant look from Nick, admonishing Nora for her lack of class*
"I mean, you may serve the guests the nuts."

sorry for the delay getting this week's up, the holiday interfered with my regular schedule. :-p
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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