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  Thin Man Goes Home, The Take Me Bak 'ome
Year: 1945
Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson, Gloria DeHaven, Anne Revere, Helen Vinson, Harry Davenport, Leon Ames, Donald Meek, Edward Brophy, Lloyd Corrigan, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Ralph Brooks, Donald MacBride, Morris Ankrum, Nora Cecil, Minor Watson, Asta
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Occasional detective Nick Charles (William Powell) is going on vacation with his wife Nora (Myrna Loy), this time not to a big city but to the smalltown where Nick grew up before he left to become a policeman. As they queue up for their tickets, their dog Asta causes a minor commotion by running away after another dog of the same breed, and Nick has to catch him, falling flat on his face in the process. Returning to the ticket booth, Nick finds that Asta will be causing more trouble because he will have to travel in the luggage carriage, so Nora hides him in her coat to fool the railway staff. Once on the train, the couple manage to keep their composure despite the carriages being packed, and Nick indulges in a little cider from his flask, having decided against anything stronger considering his destination and strict father. But Asta is discovered by the ticket collector, and Nick and Nora are forced to take him to the back of the crowded train...

Notice anything about that plot intorduction? Not much mystery going on, is there? And for this, the fifth in the popular Thin Man series, you'd never know there was anything sinister happening for about a third of the running time as most of it is taken up with bright and breezy comedy with Nick and Nora attempting to get used to small town life. Written by Robert Riskin (who came up with the story with Harry Kurnitz) and Dwight Taylor, this was the only one of the films set during wartime, although there's little mention of the conflict until the very end when it becomes a plot point. Due to rationing, Nick's drinking has dwindled to the point of a few sips of his cider - there are no cocktails in the town of Sycamore Springs, but every other aspect of the films is present and correct, except for the gangsters who are noticeably absent.

Although Nick exposes the corruption at the heart of small town life, The Thin Man Goes Home is not exactly Blue Velvet, and the atmosphere is kept distinctly cosy. After various bits of business with a deckchair and a problematic table, Nick and Nora settle down to dinner with the parents; Nick's father (Harry Davenport) is a doctor who disapproves of his son's lifestyle, as he would have preferred him to follow him into the medical profession. But he sees his son's talent when a young man arrives at the door only to be promptly shot dead. Finally, a mystery! It's all to do with the young man's paintings, but as usual there are an abundance of suspects, including some nice roles for Gloria DeHaven as the victim's melodramatic girlfriend, and the befuddled Donald Meek as the seller of the paintings. It's always a pleasure to see Powell and Loy, and here they are awarded some of the best comedy of the series (see Loy's reluctant dancing), making these some of the more consistent of the detective movies of their time. But where's their son? He's been completely written out! Music by David Snell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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