Song of the Thin Man Movie Review

It wouldn't be Hollywood if they didn't wring too much out of a good idea, an axiom proven with Song of the Thin Man, the none-too-memorable conclusion to the six-film Thin Man series which started in 1934. Things start off nicely on the boat S.S. Fortune, which has been rented out for a swank gambling benefit and has a hot jazz band scorching up the stage. Nick and Nora are there, of course (apparently back on the sauce, though moderately), enjoying the rare night out away from their child Nick Jr., played by an 11-year-old Dean Stockwell, who is delightful in his absence from a majority of the film. The bandleader, in trouble with some bookies and needing money, gets shot in the back. Though we're in the dark as to who did it; this is a film that dates from an era when you could still have a gun slowly appear from behind a door and shoot somebody without us ever seeing the person holding it. It's also the kind of film that hearkens back to an earlier era of film where the cops still all have brogues and are named Clancy or Callahan.

For most of the film, Nick and Nora are chasing about after the killer(s) and getting a quickie introduction to the jazz world, one strangely uninhabited by African-Americans. The dry-martini duo get dragged to a number of kuh-raaaaazy daddio hepcat happenings, which juices things up somewhat, as the mystery here is somewhat of a klunker and one that you quickly stop trying to bother figuring out.

Although disappointing as a Thin Man film overall, one can't say that this is entirely a waste of time. Powell and Loy are always entertaining companions, especially the former, who comes off as more of a (albeit snide) romantic here: "Darling, give me my pipe, slippers, and a beautiful woman, and you can keep the pipe and slippers," though Loy is always there to undercut him with a dry bon mot. There is also something to be said for a film that can have Powell searching for clues, come up with a razor blade, and wonder, "It could have been Somerset Maugham."

The disc includes a trailer as well as a comedy short and cartoon.

Comments

Song of the Thin Man Rating

" Grim "

Rating: NR, 1947

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