Song of the Thin Man
Screenplay by Steve Fisher and Nat Perrin
Story by Stanley Roberts
Additional dialogue by James O’Hanlon and Harry Crane
Directed by Edward Buzzell
Song of the Thin Man puts Nick and Nora in the secret world of jazz club singers in New York. It’s also a sort of pun, as this is the swan song of the series. Some of the charm is still there, William Powell and Myrna Loy can’t not be charming when together in a room. The film spends too much time on the jazz atmosphere to trust the actors to carry scenes. It can get a bit tedious when there is yet another jazz scene, yet another instance of Clinker using weird slang, and yet another instance of Nick and Nora trying to fit in and absorbing the language. The outside scenes where other things happen become breaths of fresh air, but there isn’t enough in this ecosystem to make it stand out.
We again get a new creative crew for this Thin Man entry. The direction is by Edward Buzzell, who had previously directed the Marx Brothers’ film At the Circus Stanley Roberts came up with the story, and Steve Fisher and Nat Perrin handle the script, with additional dialogue thanks to James O’Hanlon and Harry Crane (are they who came up with all the goofy slang?) Once again Nick and Nora become inserted in a more generic plot, something that could even be used as a plot for a comedy mystery tv show episode. Did Monk ever hang around with musicians? A large amount of writers is usually a bad sign for a film.
While this team realized they can’t ignore the Nick Jr. character, they don’t do one of the reoccurring gags of the series, the procession of former criminals Nick Charles knows because he busted them long ago. They’ve all been replaced by the jazz musicians, which don’t quite have the same stereotypical wackiness that nicknamed criminal types bring to the table. One weird thing is despite this entire entry being about jazz and musicians, almost every one is white. The lack of black jazz musicians in 1940s New York City is the most unbelievable thing about this entry, and I’m including the ridiculous jazz slang in the unbelievable things list.
Categories: Good, Movie Reviews Tags: Asta, Bess Flowers, Bruce Cowling, Connie Gilchrist, Dashiell Hammett, Dean Stockwell, Don Taylor, Edward Buzzell, Gloria Grahame, Harry Crane, James O'Hanlon, Jayne Meadows, Keenan Wynn, Leon Ames, Marie Windsor, Movies gone to the dogs, Myrna Loy, Nat Perrin, Patricia Morison, Phillip Reed, Ralph Morgan, Stanley Roberts, Steve Fisher, Thin Man, William Bishop, William Powell
Catwomen of the Moon
|Victor Jory as Kip Reissner|
|Marie Windsor as Helen Salinger|
|Sonny Tufts as Laird Grainger|
|Carol Brewster as Alpha|
From the 1950s comes this harrowing vision of the future. Well, maybe not harrowing. More like terribly inaccurate, misogynist, and low budget.
From the opening with standard 50’s Narrator/Philosopher droning on about man reaching the stars: “Why must we wait…why not now?” we are in for a rocket ride of sci-fi “fun” (shame). The intrepid crew of Moon Rocket 4 wake up on their hammocks as the first people in space. They are all white, but there is an actual woman on board!
|Captain Laird Grainger — Jerk.|
|Kip Reissner — Co-Pilot. In love with…|
|Helen Salinger — Navigator, and an actual woman, loves Kip but is with Laird.|
|Walt Walters — Engineer, mustachioed and wants to make a buck on everything, especially moon souvenirs|
|Doug Smith — Radio Operator, young.|