Saturday, December 04, 2021

Tonight's Movie: The Thin Man Goes Home (1944) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The fifth film in the beloved THIN MAN series, THE THIN MAN GOES HOME (1944), was just released on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive.

Detective Nick Charles (William Powell) and wife Nora (Myrna Loy) have left their usual digs in New York and San Francisco in order to pay a long-overdue visit to Nick's parents (Harry Davenport and Lucile Watson) in their small town.

Naturally someone is murdered on the Charles family doorstep almost as soon as Nick and Nora arrive, and although Nick is ostensibly on vacation, he's soon hard at work helping the police chief (Donald MacBride) solve the crime.

There are a plethora of suspects, including Gloria DeHaven, Leon Ames, Morris Ankrum, Anne Revere, and more. Will Nick solve the mystery, and will his cranky physician father be impressed? What do you think?

This is a pleasant enough entry in the series, though at the same time it's admittedly nothing particularly special. It's just a tad sluggish at 100 minutes, and the crime, which involves paintings, gets a bit hard to follow as the bodies pile up.

While any time spent with Nick and Nora is always a good time, things seem a little "off" in this go-round. Nick Jr. is nowhere in sight, and Nick is on the wagon, drinking cider (!).

Nick's relationship with his parents, particularly his father, is edgy; he apparently hasn't visited in years (have his parents met their grandson?!), and his father finds Nick's skill in solving mysteries silly. He'd hoped Nick would be a doctor like himself.

Fans of the series will remember that Nora had her own family challenges in AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936). For a lighthearted, good-natured couple, they certainly have familial relationship issues! Maybe there was something behind all that prior drinking...

The film does have its moments, with lovely Gloria DeHaven particularly fun as an overly dramatic young miss. I wished she had more screen time.

The large cast also includes Edward Brophy, Helen Vinson, Donald Meek, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Nora Cecil, Lloyd Corrigan, Irving Bacon, Virginia Sale, and Minor Watson.

W.S. Van Dyke, who directed all four of the previous films, had died in 1943, so THE THIN MAN GOES HOME was directed by Richard Thorpe.

The screenplay was by Robert Riskin and Dwight Taylor, based on a story by Riskin and Harry Kurnitz. The movie was filmed in black and white by Karl Freund and the uncredited Joseph Ruttenberg.

The Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray print is excellent, just as the other Blu-rays in this series have been.

Disc extras are the Robert Benchley short WHY DADDY? (1944), the Tex Avery cartoon SCREWBALL SQUIRREL (1944), and the trailer.

The Warner Archive has just announced that the final film in the series, SONG OF THE THIN MAN (1947), will be available on Blu-ray in January 2022.

Links to the previous Warner Archive Blu-ray reviews in this series: THE THIN MAN (1934), AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936), ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939), and SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941).

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection Amazon Store or from any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.


Blogger Lynn Rutledge said...

I actually enjoyed this one. I especially liked a couple of scenes in this movie: the hammock scene, and the one where Nora is trying to give Nick the painting while he sings "Deep in the Heart of Texas."
Looking forward to TCM's Thin Man marathon New Year's Eve.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you for your feedback, Lynn, I'm glad you enjoyed it! The hammock scene you refer to was particularly fun.

New Year's Eve with Nick and Nora is always a great idea!

Best wishes,

11:13 PM  

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