Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


William Powell and Stella Adler
SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941). Director: W. S. Van Dyke.

Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell; Myrna Loy) are enjoying a relatively quiet life with Asta and little Nicky (Richard Hall) when murder comes a'calling again. This time the victim is a virtually anonymous jockey who's dead practically before the film begins, but soon other bodies begin to pile up. Suspects and victims alike include reporter Paul Clarke (Barry Nelson); his girlfriend, Molly (Donna Reed); her boss, "Link" Stephens (Loring Smith); his mistress, Claire Porter (Stella Adler); and assorted underworld or otherwise shady characters such as Fred Macy (Joseph Anthony); "Rainbow" Benny (Lou Lubin); and "Whitey" Barrow (Alan Baxter). Then there's Major Sculley (Henry O'Neill of Scandal Sheet) and the excitable Lt. Abrahms (Sam Levene of Dial 1119). Gathering the suspects at the climax where everyone has a serious hate on, Nora is afraid that Nick is going to name her as the murderer. This is a typically convoluted, but amusing "Thin Man" movie with very good performances from all. Stella Adler, who is very saucy in this picture, did a lot of theater work, but her film and TV credits were limited to five; she later became best-known as an acting coach. Joseph Anthony later became a director for the stage and of such films as Career.

Verdict: Smooth and entertaining. ***.


angelman66 said...

Is this one of the last ones? They made a LOT of these, and all are so much fun...

William said...

There are two more I believe: Thin Man Comes Home, and Song of the Thin Man, but I haven't found it as easy to get my hands on them. I will eventually.