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An April Fools Day Marathon
at Friday Night Movies:

The Thin Man Marathon!!!

Friday, April 1st



Waiter, will you serve the nuts? I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts?
--Myrna Loy as Nora Charles

The Thin Man
USA: 1934 -- Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Written by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett
Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan & Skippy as Asta

The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.
--William Powell as Nick Charles

    Marathon Line-Up:

    Friday night
  • 7:30p Cartoon shorts
  • 8:00p The Thin Man (1934)
  • 10:00p After the Thin Man (1936)

  • Saturday
  • 2:00p Another Thin Man (1939)
  • 4:00p Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
  • 6:00p Dinner and Cocktails
  • 7:00p The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
  • 9:00p Song of the Thin Man (1947)

Almost as welcome as a shaker full of martinis, The Complete Thin Man Collection represents an eagerly awaited DVD milestone for fans of the fizzy MGM movie series. The best film in the series came first: The Thin Man (1934), W.S. Van Dyke's marvelous adaptation of a Dashiell Hammet novel. The movie gods were in a generous mood when they paired William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, the upper-class sophisticates whose sleuthing escapades somehow joined the classic form of the whodunit with the giddyup of screwball comedy. Among the series' many attributes, one of its most radical notions was the idea that a married couple might find each other delightful and view life as a goofy adventure together.

While none of the Thin Man follow-ups reach the diamond level of the first film, all afford pleasures. There's the cocktail-swilling chemistry of Powell and Loy, for one thing, as well as the considerable satisfaction of average movies made during the studio system: the craftsmanship of studio hands, and a gallery of terrific character actors filling in supporting roles. First sequel After the Thin Man (1936) is very good, with the couple in San Francisco and a supporting part for rising player James Stewart. The scenery moves again, to Long Island, for the rather impudently-titled Another Thin Man (1939), which adds baby Nick, Jr., to the mix.

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) sets the action around a racetrack, and is the last of the series to be directed by the fast-working Van Dyke. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944) finds Nick escorting family to his parents' house for a visit. Song of the Thin Man (1947) engagingly adds a jazz milieu to the Charles's detective work; at this point, Nick, Jr. was played by child star Dean Stockwell. The series stuck with certain staples: the unveiling of the guilty party, a wirehaired terrier named Asta (who became a star in his own right), and booze. When Nick opines, in the first film, that a dry martini should always be shaken to "waltz time," you know why audiences fell in love with these guilt-free comedies.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat, a cigarette and a martini (or three).

Awards for The Thin Man (1934)

Nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Powell), Best Director (W.S. Van Dyke), & Best Writing - Adaptation (Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett)

Entered into the National Film Registry in 1997

More awards

Memorable Quotes for The Thin Man (1934)

Nick Charles: I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune.
Nora Charles: I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids.
Nick Charles: It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.

Nick Charles: Oh, it's all right, Joe. It's all right. It's my dog. And, uh, my wife.
Nora Charles: Well you might have mentioned me first on the billing.

Marion: I don't like crooks. And if I did like 'em, I wouldn't like crooks that are stool pigeons. And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't like you

More quotes

Trivia for The Thin Man (1934)

The title does not refer to Nick Charles (William Powell), but to the murder victim. Audiences and critics alike kept referring to Nick Charles as "the Thin Man", so subsequent films kept the name.

Given three weeks to shoot the film, W.S. van Dyke managed it all in 12 days for the paltry budget of $231,000 (April 9-mid May). The film surprised everyone by becoming a major box office hit, ranking in $1.4 million.

Skippy, who played Asta the dog, bit Myrna Loy during filming.

More trivia

Goofs for The Thin Man (1934)

Continuity: At Nick and Nora's apartment, Nora folds her arms in front of her. In the next shot, she's holding her hands behind her back.

Continuity: Nick walks into a bedroom with an ice bucket full of ice. Minutes later, he walks out of the bedroom but the ice has melted.

More goofs