Between Monika and myself, The Thin Man gets plenty of love here at Cinematical, and a few years back Jeffrey included the classic film on a list of non-Christmas movies set during the holiday season. But this time of year I can't help coming back to everyone's favorite alcoholic detective couple, Nick and Nora Charles (played by William Powell and -- swoon -- Myrna Loy), and sharing my appreciation for their witty and drunken ways. If only one person is turned on to this movie with each posting about it, I feel my work at this blog is good for moviegoing-kind. And since tis the season for giving, I'm glad to be able to gift an introduction to or a memory of the first of their six film installments.
Ironically, Nick and Nora may not seem the most clearly Christmas-spirited folks (they tend to prefer an 's' at the end of their spirit), and in The Thin Man, Nora is even driven to admit she'll kill the next person who wishes her a "Merry Christmas." They're not scrooges, though. Much of the film is set during the holiday, and this shows in the Charles' activities. Nora is introduced carrying -- and spilling -- a stack of wrapped presents, while Nick is introduced sipping on a yuletide cocktail (okay, so his drinking likely has nothing to do with Christmas). There's also hungover tree trimming, boozey holiday partying and some wonderful Christmas Eve banter about gift expectations.
Yet it's this Christmas morning scene that is most revealing about the couple's true attitude toward the holiday. Just another day for drinking, taking for granted material possessions that come with great wealth and, of course, snappy comebacks. Still, most of us could only dream of such a serene and satisfying Christmas, in spite of all the alcoholism, gunshots and seemingly unsentimental gift exchanging. In my opinion, the scene remains one of the most heartwarming of its kind. Maybe because you believe the Charleses truly love and care about each other more than they often appear to, and certainly because Skippy the dog (here playing Asta) always brightens a scene with his adorable muffin face.
So enjoy the scene and have a merry ... er ... you know.