For Reel

The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
January 29, 2017, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Richard Thorpe
3.5 Stars
the-thin-man-goes-homeThe Thin Man Goes Home marked a significant shift in the series in its penultimate outing. While the film is often regarded as lacking the charm of its predecessors, it should be applauded for attempting to alter the formula that the previous four entries had relied on. For starters, this entry places Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) in suburbia—a location far removed from the high society social circles that would make up the first few films in the series. It is also a location that allows Powell to bring a certain vulnerability to Nick that had not been seen up to this point. Nick, so desperately afraid of his father, attempts to kick his cocktail habit in order to please him. When he fails almost immediately (due to a comic miscommunication), he resigns himself to afternoons in t-shirts on a hammock until a murder kicks the plot into gear. Seeing Nick “regress” to a childlike state allows Nora more authority than in previous entries—her confidence in dealing with Nick’s parents is met by his anxiousness. If the film’s mystery is as messy as the series produced by this point (the appearance of a character named “Crazy Mary” (Anne Revere) reveals much about the level of thrills the film is dealing with), it is brilliantly tailored to bringing more to Powell’s Nick Charles, who in the previous picture had been treading water in his characterization.

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