Die Hard." (I already talked about that one, remember?) No, today's film is the classic mystery "The Thin Man" (1934)!
Based on the great detective novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, it tells the tale of Nick and Nora Charles as they visit New York for a vacation. Nick Charles used to be a detective there, before he married millionaire heiress Nora and moved to California. When they visit his old city for the first time in four years, though, old friends and colleagues (and his noisy, curious wife) reluctantly drag him into the mysterious disappearance of another old friend Clyde Wynant.
Manhattan Melodrama" (1934) with Clark Gable and also directed by Van Dyke. He witnessed the great off-screen repartee and chemistry between the two while making "Melodrama" from their first meeting. So when he heard MGM had the rights to Hammett's novel "The Thin Man," he knew exactly the couple to cast in the film. At first, the studio refused to let him cast the pair, for they were not the big names we know now. Luckily, Van Dyke won out and proved they were the perfect Nick and Nora, as the rest of the world fell in love with the duo.
After the Thin Man" (1936), "Another Thin Man" (1939), "Shadow of the Thin Man" (1941), "The Thin Man Goes Home" (1945) and "Song of the Thin Man" (1947)). Van Dyke also directed the pair in a number of their following films, including the first three "Thin Man" sequels and "I Love You Again" (1940).
Bringing Up Baby" (1938) and "The Awful Truth" (1937).
And with the easy the two leads show with each other, who couldn't help falling in love with them and the comedy? It's all real too, because as I mentioned earlier, Van Dyke's nickname was "One-Take." That's right! He was renowned for shooting everything quickly and always using the first, fresh take. "The Thin Man" had a B-movie budget (only $230,000), and Van Dyke still managed to finish the film under time, in only twelve days.
I truly love this movie! Fall in love with the Charleses too on TCM this December 21st at Midnight EST/9pm PST. It is also on DVD if you can't wait that long. Have a wonderful week, everyone! Be back Friday.
(Post-tidbit: Now, contrary to popular belief, the "thin man" of the first film is not Nick Charles. It is actually in reference to Wynant, the character everyone is looking for. But people associated the title "The Thin Man" with Nick and Nora so much that the studio continued using the words in the sequels' titles, even though there is never anymore references to any "thin" men.)