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The Thin Man [DVD] [1934]

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

Price: £13.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Cesar Romero, Harold Huber, Porter Hall, Henry Wadsworth, William Henry
  • Directors: Woodbridge S Van Dyke
  • Producers: Hunt Stromberg
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jun. 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICLHN4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,681 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
Dashiell Hammett is best known for his hard-boiled detectives, but he struck gold when he created "The Thin Man." And the movie adaptation is even better -- a witty, zingy mystery with a lovable pair of detectives and their dog. No wonder it spawned five sequels, even though Hammett never wrote another.

Inventor Clyde Wynant is missing. At a party, his daughter Dorothy (Maureen O'Sullivan) sees detective-turned-rich-hubby Nick Charles (William Powell) and asks for his help in finding her dad. But when Clyde's secretary/mistress is murdered, Clyde is the primary suspect -- especially when other bodies show up.

Nick is resolutely determined not to get involved, but between the police and his rich wife Nora (Myrna Loy), he finds himself enmeshed in the case. He believes that Wynant didn't do it, but the case is covered with false clues and hidden motives -- until Nick himself unearths a skeleton in Wynant's workshop, which will solve the whole case.

From the first moment you see Nick dancing with his shaker, it's obvious that "Thin Man" is a winner. It was the first of six films starring Nick, Nora and Asta the wire-haired terrier, and while Hammet never wrote anything more about this detecting team, that didn't stop Hollywood from continuing their saga.

This is a tight, suspenseful little mystery, with plenty of suspects that might have done it, but you never quite know who did actually do the murder. But the story is peppered with astoundingly funny dialogue ("I heard you got shot five times in the tabloids." "That's a lie! They didn't come anywhere NEAR my tabloids"), and a cast of weirdos, ranging from gangsters to greedy ex-wives to wooden gigolos.

Nick and Nora (based on Hammett and Lillian Hellman) are absolutely delightful.
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Format: DVD
Oh man, what an excellent film! A total classic. This is the sort of film that reminds you just how good a film can be. If, like me, you have found yourself sitting stony-faced through all those infantile modern comedies in which the height of wit is a guy barfing into a flowerpot or a girl having diarrhea, and are beginning to wonder if you lack a sense of humour altogether, then watch THE THIN MAN. It's funnier than any film I've seen in a long time; I actually rewound it occasionally to listen to a joke a second time; that's how good the dialogue is. But there's more than comedy here; there is intelligence, class, feeling, a spot of murder ... and some stunning outfits. Okay, I'm not entirely convinced that the romantic comedy and the murder mystery sides of the movie quite gel, but perhaps that's just because I'm not fond of murder mysteries. But if there has ever been a more enjoyable couple in the history of cinema than Nick and Nora, I certainly haven't seen them. It's even more remarkable when you consider that, while most romantic pairings involve a guy and a girl who've just met, initially hate each other, fall in love, and get married, Nick and Nora are already happily married. That should be the kiss of death in a movie; but THE THIN MAN thrives on it. This is what marriage should be like: witty, loving and alcoholic.

It's no wonder this spawned several sequels. I've no idea how they compare to the original, but if they are even half as good as this they'll be worth the time. We shall see...
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Format: DVD
This, the first Thin Man, is one of the most beloved of the old time movies, and watching it for the first time since I was a child--I'm sure I saw it in the fifties at one of those three features, a cartoon and Movietone for a dime theaters, but remember nothing--it's not hard to see why. The chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy (Nick and Nora Charles) is effervescent, bubbly and delicious. It is obvious they are in love and take such joy in each other's company while teasing each other in a most delightful way. You will just love the way Asta, their dog (who is quite a star in this movie himself) covers his eyes in the final scene--such a delicate dog with such delicate feelings! (Actually I understand that all dogs in movies in those days at least were females for reasons that might be imagined.)

The movie starts a little slow by modern standards, like a stage play, but becomes increasingly enthralling, until suddenly it is over, and YES, let's do a sequel! And they did, six of them, but, well, sequels may or may not be as good as the original. In this case, I understand they weren't and I'm not surprised. It would be hard to achieve something like The Thin Man again. Everything just fell into place, the plot was agreeable and clever, the lesser characters quirky and intriguing, the direction by W.S. "One Take Woody" Van Dyke smooth and focused, and the twenties going on the thirties (but not really) atmosphere was authentic with the rich holding lavish dinner parties and drinking way too much, especially Nick Charles (Powell) who complained that sleuthing caused him to get behind in his drinking.

The witty dialogue comes first from Dashiell Hammett's novel and then from Albert Hackett who adapted the script. Hackett was just getting warmed up.
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