Five Things You May Not Know About “The Thin Man”

Originally slotted as one of M-G-M’s “B” pictures, the screwball comedy/murder mystery The Thin Man was boosted to box-office smash/franchise started thanks to the natural elegance and charm of its leads, William Powell and Myrna Loy, as Nick and Nora Charles. Nick is a carousing retired detective whose latest case puts him on the trail of a missing “thin man,” Nora is his wealthy heiress wife, and Asta is their terrier pooch. W.S. Van Dyke directs from Dashiell Hammett‘s novel; with Maureen O’Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, and Edward Ellis.

Because this movie is a perennial favorite, you may think you know all there is to know about The Thin Man. Or do you? Here’s five trivia factoids you may not be aware of.

– Between takes, the human leads stayed away from Asta in order to not distract the cinematic canine from his on-screen duties.

– Nick and Nora’s verbal back-and-forthing was inspired by Dashiell Hammett’s real life relationship with Lillian Hellman, a successful (and controversial) playwright whose works include The Little Foxes and The Children’s Hour.

The Thin Man established William Powell and Myrna Loy as global superstars, and the pair are regularly considered to be among the best couples in movie history.

– Due to his strong religious beliefs, director W.S. Van Dyke did not seek medical help when he was diagnosed with cancer. Tragically, he took his own life in order to alleviate his suffering at the age of 53. Despite how young he was when he passed, he was a prolific Hollywood figure who helmed over 90 films in his too-brief lifetime.

-The film’s trailer includes some unique footage that helped introduce these lovable characters to the audience in an unforgettable away. Take a look:

Why do you think The Thin Man continues to thrill audiences? Let us know!

Previously on MovieFanFare:
Loving Asta, the Canine Film Star
In Like Thin: Looking Back at “The Thin Man”
The Cinematic Sophistication of William Powell