Another Thin Man

1939, Movie, NR, 101 mins

Review

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This substandard outing for the Powell-Loy duo in the legendary roles of Nick and Nora Charles comes from the pen of master detective writer Hammett. Arriving in New York to spend some of Loy's considerable fortune, the pair are asked by Smith to come to his Long Island estate; he is fearful that someone is trying to kill him, he tells them, and asks if Powell will look into some puzzling actions by his relatives and friends. The couple, with their baby son (William Anthony Poulsen, in a part later assumed by Dean Stockwell as the Charles boy grew older) and nurse, encamp at Smith's rambling estate, where the colonel is murdered as prophesied. As Powell consumes innumerable drinks, with Loy hiding the keys to the liquor cabinet in order to keep him on track, two more people are killed. All the while countless wild characters, from show biz types to sentimental gangsters, flit in and out of scenes so fast it's hard to keep the suspects in order without a score card. But the jocular, half-tipsy Powell does his usual round-up at film's end to identify Grey as the killer of the colonel, a murder committed for inheritance. More mystery than comedy dominates this sometimes draggy production, whose script is less inspired than in previous THIN MAN efforts. The atmosphere and sets, along with stellar performances by the principals, can't offset a weak story. This was Powell's first film after a two-year absence from the screen due to illness. leave a comment

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