AFTER THE THIN MAN (Blu-Ray Review)
From WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION
Review by Mr. Paws😸
A lot of writers and websites really have no business putting together “all time” lists. Case-in-point, The Thin Man series, six films released between 1934 and 1947, almost never shows up on anyone’s list of the greatest film franchises of all time. Since this series was hugely popular, critically revered, influential and consistently profitable, it’s obvious that some people’s definition of “all time” is limited to their time. Shame on them.
But Warner Archive Collection has been gradually restoring and releasing the series on Blu-ray for movie lovers to discover (or rediscover). Following the terrific 2019 release of The Thin Man comes the second film, which is every bit as funny and charming.
In After the Thin Man, famously-unflappable detective Nick Charles (William Powell) and wealthy wife Nora (Myrna Loy) return home to San Francisco, fresh from solving the murder case in the first film. However, it isn’t long before Nora’s frantic cousin, Selma (Elissa Landi), is begging Nick to locate her philandering husband, Robert. Finding him is easy, but when he’s later murdered, catching the killer is a lot more challenging. Selma is charged with the crime, but Nick and Nora uncover several suspects, including shifty nightclub owner “Dancer” (Joseph Calleia), Robert’s showgirl mistress, Polly (Penny Singleton), Polly’s “brother” Phil (Paul Fix) and David Graham (James Stewart), Selma’s old boyfriend who still carries a torch.
Like the original film, the plot is an intriguing mystery with some interesting twists, but what makes it truly memorable are the performances, characters and witty dialogue. The chemistry between Powell & Loy is magical, as is their affectionate, quasi-antagonistic banter. The humor is both sophisticated and broad, with enough clever throwaway lines that catching everything in one viewing would be a tall order.
|Never bring eggs to a knife fight.|
Best of all, as with the first film, After the Thin Thin isn’t simply entertaining for its time. With characters and humor that would be engaging in any decade, the film is only dated by its physical age, which should never dissuade any self-respecting cinephile. Nicely restored with a smattering of bonus features from the same era, this classic is a must own andthe entire Thin Man series should be mandatory viewing before creating any kind of “all time” list.
“HOW TO BE A DETECTIVE” - Live action comedy short with Robert Benchley
“THE EARLY BIRD AND THE WORM” - MGM Cartoon short
AFTER THE THIN MAN - 60-minute radio adaptation with William Powell & Myrna Loy
“LEO IS ON THE AIR” - 15-minute MGM radio promo
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