Okay. Let’s talk William Powell. Actor. Drinker. God.
I first became introduced to The Thin Man series when I was in my early teens. I saw a movie called Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Yeah, the movie was not great, but I did happen to read an article where the authors of the book were talking about their inspiration and they mentioned that their leads were named for the married couple in The Thin Man series. So, of course, I ran to my dad and asked the inevitable question, “Ever heard of The Thin Man?” My dad looked at me as if I’d grown another head. Yes, he replied.
Thus began my William Powell obsession. He was older when he started gaining fame, in his 40s and he had one of those villain mustaches – even though he wasn’t known for playing villains. I was 13 at the time, so I mean, TOTALLY NORMAL that I’d become obsessed with him. The Thin Man became a gateway drug for me to more screwball comedies with William Powell – Libeled Lady and My Man Godfrey are my favorites.
To set the stage for this film, The Thin Man was made in 1934, at the height of the great depression. There was a definite trend at this time for extravagance in cinema. People didn’t want to see themselves, poor and working to make ends meet. They wanted light, happy entertainment. The Thin Man definitely delivered on that count, featuring Myrna Loy and William Powell as a happily married couple. Powell plays Nick Charles, a retired detective while Myrna plays his wife, Norah Charles, an wealthy socialite looking for excitement. Nick is lured back into detective work and spends most of the series trying to keep Norah out of it, much to her chagrin.
I love this movie for so many reasons. But, really what it comes down to is the chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy. Both characters are witty, sarcastic and let’s face it, downright alcoholics. Seriously, if they had been real people, they would have died from liver failure at 40. But, for the purposes of the movie, make a martini (in my case, soda with a splash of alcohol), sit back, and enjoy the, (in my opinion) best married couple to ever grace the silver screen.
Vintage trailer below.
P.S. – The movie’s available for 2.99 on youtube. Just saying…