James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
When a woman (O'Sullivan) asks Nick Charles (Powell) to help find her missing scientist father (Ellis), he's initially reluctant. After all, he's recently given up detecting and is content to nurse his wife's money and a cocktail shaker in that order. He's happy to let Nora (Loy) attend to strenuous matters such as shopping and walking Asta, the wirehaired terrier. But Nora thinks otherwise and soon the duo are on a trail laid out in Dashiell Hammett's last and lightest novel.
The brilliant screenplay keeps both the structure and some of the original and such material proved heaven sent to the sophisticated players who went on to star in five further 'Thin Man' movies, the earliest of which were comparably entertaining.
Astonishingly the movie was shot in just over two weeks, thanks to director 'One Take Woody' Van Dyke, an underrated Hollywood talent. Powell and Loy deliver smart lines (some of which were initially considered censorious) with the rapidity of machine gun fire.
Truly, a film in which there is never a dull moment.
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