Shadow of the Thin Man

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Shadow of the Thin Man
Image of the film poster showing Myrna Loy and William Powell
Theatrical release poster
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Produced by Hunt Stromberg
Written by Dashiell Hammett (characters)
Screenplay by
Story by Harry Kurnitz
Music by David Snell
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited by Robert Kern
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • November 21, 1941 (1941-11-21) (USA)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Shadow of the Thin Man is the fourth of the six The Thin Man films. It was released in 1941 and was directed by W. S. Van Dyke. It stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. Also, in this film their son Nick Jr. (Dickie Hall) is old enough to figure in the comic subplot. Other cast members include Donna Reed and Barry Nelson. This was one of three films in which Stella Adler appeared.


Nick and Nora Charles are looking forward to a relaxing day at a racetrack, but when a jockey accused of throwing a race is found shot to death, Police Lieutenant Abrams requests Nick's help. The trail leads to a gambling syndicate that operates out of a wrestling arena, a murdered reporter, and a pretty secretary whose boyfriend has been framed. Along the way, Nick and Nora must contend with a wild wrestling match, a dizzying day at a merry-go-round (accompanied by Nick, Jr.), and a table-clearing restaurant brawl.


Production notes[edit]

Shadow of the Thin Man was eagerly welcomed, coming two years after the previous outing and hitting theaters just two weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It would be three years before Loy would make another film (The Thin Man Goes Home in 1945) as she left Hollywood for New York, where she volunteered with the Red Cross.

The film includes a rather novel scene filmed 'on' the recently completed San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, wherein Nick & Nora Charles', while driving east-bound on the upper deck (disallowed when the bridge was 'reconfigured' in 1962) are stopped on the bridge (for speeding, by a highway patrolman) while traffic whizzes by, which would be unheard of in recent history. Just after this scene there's a short sequence of them driving through the MacArthur Maze, an interchange on the east end of the bridge, and then north on a 'barren' stretch of highway which today is Interstate 80 passing through crowded Emeryville and Berkeley. The local racetrack central to the plot is Golden Gate Fields.


External links[edit]