|SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941)|
W.S. Van Dyke
|"I'll be with you in two shakes of a cocktail."|
|Time: 97 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
SYNOPSIS: A simple outing to the track drags Nick and Nora into another murder case that involves the death of a jockey tied to a money laundering scheme. With many suspects and no killer, they must use their martini-soaked brains to draw out the murderer before they become victims themselves.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best in the series, this film has everything a mystery/comedy could hope for. While it helps to see the films that proceed it in order to understand the "in jokes" SHADOW is made to stand on its own delivering witty one-liners and a complex murder plot that keeps you guessing from beginning to end. Unlike many series that foist a child onto the main couple, this one manages to generate genuine laughs from Nicky Jr.'s presence in his justifiably limited screentime. Thankfully, the film sticks to its' bread and butter Nick and Nora solving the case while besotted with each other and their martinis. Their drunken escapades would be deeply frowned upon these days, especially since they are parents to a small child, but they manage to barely walk a fine line of responsibility and respectibiliy. After all, they catch criminals for fun. Sam Levine reappears in an amusing turn as the irasicble and slightly cluesless lieutenant who "helped" Nick and Nora solve the first Thin Man case and who needs their services once again. With a large group of plausible suspects, the film has a number of clever surprises that keeps the guilty ball rolling. Thanks to great writting this version of cat and mouse dashes along with wit, charm and just enough danger to keep you glued to your seat. The film follows a familiar pattern but Powell and Loy's energy and chemistry make it seem almost original. A smart and sassy cinema classic that's smooth going down and a joy to watch again and again.