Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Thin Man (1939)


“What’s the idea of the kid?”
“Well, we have a dog, and he was lonesome. That was the idea, wasn't it, Mommy?”

            Nick and Nora Charles are back in the Big Apple for another much needed break in Another Thin Man. They now have a son named Nicky Jr. who is a year old. Asta of course is with them as well.
            Like the last two films it seems Nick and Nora can never get any rest and a murder case just always happens to come their way. As soon as they walk into their hotel room they are bombarded by people either in person or on the telephone… or should I say poor Nora is the one who is being bombarded. This is the only time we see Nora flustered so far in the series. Nora answers a call from her father’s business partner Colonel MacFay saying he needs to see both she and Nick right away even going so far as to send a car down to them in the city to take them to his house.
            On the way to Col. MacFay’s house Nick sees a dead body with a knife in its back lying by the side of the road. Nick tells the driver of the car to pull over, the driver does but he gets so freaked out that he runs away leaving Nick to drive the car.
            At the house MacFay tells Nick and Nora that he has been receiving threats from a shady man named Phil Church who feels like he has been screwed out of money from MacFay and Nora’s father. MacFay fears for his life and has guards and watchmen all over the house and the grounds. Unfortunately all these measures are no good, MacFay is eventually murdered. Nick and Nora were awake with Nicky Jr. when MacFay’s daughter Lois comes in because she cannot sleep when they all hear a shot go off and run to MacFay’s room. There seems to have been a struggle but Nick sees something is hinky with the crime scene.
            The police are called along with the District Attorney. The DA suspects Nick has something to do with the murder since whenever he seems to be in town someone is murdered and he is always around. All the suspicion surrounding Nick is quickly cleared. Phil Church is the number one suspect and yet again Nick sees something more to this murder and only sees Church as part of a larger act.

            So who is the murderer? Well… watch the film!!
            How MacFay was murdered and how he was shot was really cool. Let’s just say I would love it if something like it were to show up on a CSI show (preferably CSI:NY), it is very clever and a bit scientific.
            Nora again gets set back from following Nick after he received a threatening call concerning his family. He did not want Nora to come to any harm so he pretended to hear Nicky Jr. crying and when Nora walked away he ran out the door (at least he was not doing so to just get rid of her he was doing so to keep her safe). When Nick walks out the door the phone rings… this call gives Nora an opportunity to be a detective without Nick. Nick finds a clue at an apartment; it’s a matchbook from a club called The West Indies Club. He goes there and is immediately surrounded by a group of women. A waiter brings over a note from a woman named Bella Spruce (a name of one of Nick’s old girlfriends). He knows immediately who it is and looks up to see a whole group of men completely surrounding the woman who wrote the note. He goes over clearing the men out of the way and there sitting at the table is Nora. Nick, acting all serious makes a joke about her being sick and how it’s too soon for her to be out of quarantine and Nora goes right along with and says that she will not go back. Since both of them are acting so serious the men disperse leaving Nick and Nora together.
            After a while of sitting down, Nora goes to signal someone by walking around the club with a napkin full of money in her hand and Nick is sitting at the table. Some guys Nick knows sit down at the table with him and they discuss Phil Church. A sitting at the other table is eavesdropping much to the annoyance of one of the guys at the table. Nora is getting hit on by a guy who just grabs her and dances with her. She is not happy and keeps telling the guy that she is married but the guy just does not care. At the table a fight breaks out and eventually spreads throughout the club and the lights turn off and the band playing on. When the lights go Nick is now the one dancing with Nora; he punched the guy away from his wife.
            The club scene (besides the dancing of two performers) was really good. When the fight broke out William Powell just played Nick sitting down calmly without flinching at the commotion that was going on around him. I also liked how Nick just let Nora do her little detecting, trying to get the caller’s attention with what he asked for. He knew it was nothing really big to do with the case but he let Nora have her fun. When the lights went on and we see them dancing together as if they were the only two people in the club was really cute. You can just see they are so in love with each other.
            From the now three films I have watched in The Thin Man series they just get better and better. Nick and Nora just become better and funnier and more adorable. It is nice to see a couple in a film have fun with each other, they do not seem fake they look like a real couple who really love and get along so well with one another. Their scenes with Nicky Jr. were so cute especially a scene at the beginning of the film where Nora lets the baby crawl over Nick when he’s sleeping. Nick takes the baby in his arms and kisses him. It’s something you really never see in old films it was nice.
            I had a feeling that Nicky Jr. would be dumped with a nanny and we would never see the kid again until the end of the film… I was somewhat right but the scenes the baby was in Nick and Nora were very affectionate and loving with him. The couple still had a good time drinking and going out to nightclubs and the normal things they did previously without Nicky Jr. but they knew he was there.

            Another Thin Man keeps in line with the previous two Thin Man films but the line works so well that it is not old and tired, the line is still fun.
,Another Thin Man