Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Thin Man (1934)

Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
(actor & director credits courtesy

Retired detective Nick Charles is convinced by his wife Nora to help a young woman whose father has disappeared after the murder of his mistress.

MGM delivers a classic mystery with many laughs courtesy of the charming team of Powell and Loy, whose dialogue throughout the picture is sparkling and a lot of fun.  Based on a story by Maltese Falcon author Dashiell Hammett, the mystery is a good one but secondary to the comic scenes involving the leads and their terrier Asta.  It's interesting to see Pendleton, nearly always cast as a dimwitted but lovable type, playing it straight as the police lieutenant on the case, and there's many solid character turns by actors like Edward Ellis, Cesar Romero, and Edward Brophy.  It's a credit to their performances and that of the rest of the cast that when Powell invites all the suspects to a dinner so he can expose the murderer that we know everyone around the table without confusion.  Followed by five sequels, the popularity of the film is a testament to the chemistry between the stars.

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