Comedy #7: The Thin Man (1934)
The first apartment my wife and I moved into was a recently restored place called the Belvedere. Once, almost a century before, it had been the toniest high-rise in town — five whole stories tall! — and had the first private lift in Harrisburg, one of those open-caged Otis elevators with a telescoping metal-grate door you had to manually slide shut; you know: the kind favored by film noir directors everywhere for the dramatic shadows they cast on its occupants as they ride up to some clandestine meeting.
Maura said every time she rode it she felt like Myrna Loy.
After that, we had to track down all The Thin Man movies. Romantic comedies don’t always age well, rom/com murder mysteries especially so — unless they are pickled. And you can’t get more pickled than Nick & Nora Charles, the detective duo that drank and quipped their way through half-a-dozen Thin Man flicks in the ’30s and ’40s. The mysteries they solve are wholly irrelevant as the only thing that matters is the chemistry between stars Myrna Loy and William Powell and their back and forth banter. (Actually, that’s not entirely true: the couple made 14 films together, but it is only the six Thin Man movies that hold up, and that is due in good part to Dashiell Hammett’s characters & dialog.)
Like an apartment with an old Otis elevator, still worth tracking down 80s later. Mix up a batch of martinis, sit back and enjoy.