After the Thin Man
Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Warner Home Video

When the sequel is better than the original it doesn’t mean the original was bad. In this case it means that everyone involved in the original came back for a second kick at the can and scored again.

After The Thin Man brings back to the screen Hollywood’s favourite functioning alcoholics Nick and Nora Charles. Picking up exactly where The Thin Man left off After The Thin Man manages to capture the fun of The Thin Man while spinning a better mystery than the original The Thin Man.

“I wouldn’t go through that again if you had twice as much money.” Says Nick in response to an invitation to a family dinner reminding the viewer that Nora is very rich and Nick aspires to be very idle. The rapid fire repartee which characterized the first movie arrived in tact during the second but is less frequent. In its place is a better crafted mystery that plays fair while being complex enough to require some thought.

William Powell and Myrna Loy are perfect for each other. The playfulness and sincerity of their relationship is so believable it is almost impossible to believe they weren’t involved in real life. Loy managed to have that chemistry with almost every leading man she worked with and they all remarked on it. One of her costars in this movie Jimmy Stewart was once quoted as say that he would only marry Myrna Loy. The chemistry between Powell and Loy and the writing which balances the characters of Nick and Nora make them the perfect crime solving team.

The movie takes a little while through two musical bits at the beginning to get on with the missing person then murder mystery but once it gets rolling the story is riviting. This is comic noir at its best.

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