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  Another Thin Man A Very Big House In The Country
Year: 1939
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger, C. Aubrey Smith, Ruth Hussey, Nat Pendleton, Patric Knowles, Tom Neal, Phyllis Gordon, Sheldon Leonard, Harry Bellaver, Muriel Hutchison, Abner Biberman, Marjorie Main, Shemp Howard, Asta
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nick Charles (William Powell) and his wife Nora (Myrna Loy) have returned to New York from yet another vacation, this time with their new son, baby Nicky Jr (William A. Poulsen). No sooner have they had their luggage brought to their apartment and prepared to pack when Nora receives word that she has been continually contacted by her father's old business partner, Colonel McFay (C. Aubrey Smith), but Nick, not wishing to be drawn into more trouble, tells her not to call back. However, when taking a call from her friend, Nora is interrupted by McFay on the line, telling her that she and her husband must travel over to his Long Island estate as quickly as possible. Why? Because he believes that someone is out to murder him, and he wants Nick to sort it out before suspicion turns to fact...

Another Thin Man was the third in the Thin Man series, reuniting the ever-excellent Powell and Loy (and Asta the comic relief dog) for a further round of sleuthing. If the introduction of a baby could have made the couple consider settling down, then scriptwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, also returning, have other ideas. As with the first two films, they worked from a Dashiell Hammett story, and as with those instalments the mystery is suitably over-involved which starts out as a country house murder yarn that Agatha Christie would have been happy to watch. However, with the introduction of gangsters, after the killing finally happens the film settles into its regular journey of quips and thrills, this time a little watered down - and that's not just Nick's drinking, of which there is a notable lessening.

Even before Nick and Nora arrive at the McFay house Nick and the chauffeur spot a body with a knife sticking out of it lying by the road, and the car is stopped so Nick can investigate and the chauffeur can scarper in terror. But the body is gone! On reaching the house and meeting McFay and various suspects, the couple discover that someone has been playing tricks around the estate, an indication to McFay that he is under threat. And lo, as they are taking their meal, the housekeeper rushes in to tell them the swimming pool is on fire. When Nick ventures out to see what's up, he also finds the McFay pet dog lying dead in the bushes, a sign that there may be something to the general paranoia, and so there is. Collecting a bunch of of reliable actors to fill the roles of possible killers as the bodies mount up, the film is snappier than the previous entry, but with fewer good laughs, and the series was gradually beginning to resemble the plethora of mystery movies that starred serial detectives, if more upmarket than its rivals thanks to its stars. Music by Edward Ward.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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