The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)

100 mins | Comedy-drama | January 1945

Producer:

Everett Riskin

Cinematographer:

Karl Freund

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Thin Man's Rival . Various contemporary news items indicate that the film was originally set to begin production in Jun 1942 but was shelved when Myrna Loy, William Powell's co-star in previous "Thin Man" films, refused the assignment. Loy left California for New York in Dec 1941 to marry car rental heir John Hertz, Jr., and soon after began a lengthy leave of absence from films to work for the Red Cross war relief effort. In Nov 1942, a HR news item announced that the film was to begin production with Irene Dunne as "Nora Charles." The film was shelved again a short time later and did not receive mention in HR until Mar 1944, when a news item noted that Loy was set to do the film. The Thin Man Goes Home was Loy's only wartime film.
       According to an Apr 1944 HR news item, wartime liquor rationing prompted producer Everett Riskin to eliminate the heavy drinking that had been an integral part of "Nick" and "Nora's" daily life in previous "The Thin Man" films. According to HR , Norman Taurog directed the added scenes in Aug and Sep 1944, while Richard Thorpe began work on his next film, Thrill of a Romance (see below). Cameraman Joseph Ruttenberg filled in for Karl Freund in Jun 1944 while Freund was recovering from an illness.
       A NYT article notes that the dog that played "Asta" in previous "Thin Man" films "outgrew" its part and was replaced by another dog for this film. The same article also noted ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Thin Man's Rival . Various contemporary news items indicate that the film was originally set to begin production in Jun 1942 but was shelved when Myrna Loy, William Powell's co-star in previous "Thin Man" films, refused the assignment. Loy left California for New York in Dec 1941 to marry car rental heir John Hertz, Jr., and soon after began a lengthy leave of absence from films to work for the Red Cross war relief effort. In Nov 1942, a HR news item announced that the film was to begin production with Irene Dunne as "Nora Charles." The film was shelved again a short time later and did not receive mention in HR until Mar 1944, when a news item noted that Loy was set to do the film. The Thin Man Goes Home was Loy's only wartime film.
       According to an Apr 1944 HR news item, wartime liquor rationing prompted producer Everett Riskin to eliminate the heavy drinking that had been an integral part of "Nick" and "Nora's" daily life in previous "The Thin Man" films. According to HR , Norman Taurog directed the added scenes in Aug and Sep 1944, while Richard Thorpe began work on his next film, Thrill of a Romance (see below). Cameraman Joseph Ruttenberg filled in for Karl Freund in Jun 1944 while Freund was recovering from an illness.
       A NYT article notes that the dog that played "Asta" in previous "Thin Man" films "outgrew" its part and was replaced by another dog for this film. The same article also noted that the film was budgeted at $1,000,000, which was considerably less than the $2,500,000 budgeted for the most expensive film in the series. HR production charts list actor Douglas Morrow in the cast and HR news items list Mickey Roth in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The film marked the last screen appearance of actress Helen Vinson. The film was the fifth in the "Thin Man" series. W. S. Van Dyke, who directed the first four films in the series, died in 1943. For more information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for The Thin Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4572. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
22 Nov 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Dec 44
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 44
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 44
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jul 44
p. 2007.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Nov 44
p. 2193.
New York Times
21 May 1944.
---
New York Times
26 Jan 45
p. 16.
Variety
22 Nov 44
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Gloria De Haven
And
Asta
Lucille Brown
Saul Gorss
Joseph J. Greene
Oliver Prickett
Thomas Dillon
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dir of addl scenes
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Fill-in dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Transparency projection shots
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Mus tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
The Thin Man's Rival
Release Date:
January 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 25 January 1945
Production Date:
8 May--14 July 1944
addl scenes August and September 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 December 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13059
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
9,048
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
10301
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Nick Charles, the famous New York detective, takes his wife Nora and their dog Asta to his sleepy hometown of Sycamore Springs to visit his parents and celebrate his birthday. Soon after they arrive, Nora discovers that Nick's father, Dr. Bertram Charles, is disappointed in his son for not having become a doctor as he did. Determined to show Bertram that Nick is an accomplished sleuth, Nora encourages Nick to find and solve a crime in the small town. When a rumor begins to spread through town that Nick is visiting Sycamore Springs to investigate a case, some of the residents, especially Edgar Draque, who is secretly involved in an espionage ring, become alarmed. Draque tells his wife Helena that they must leave town immediately after they get their hands on a particular painting by local artist Peter Berton. Meanwhile, Nora, who is looking for a gift for Nick's birthday, finds the Berton painting in Willie Crump's art store and buys it for Nick. Later that night, Berton arrives at the Charles house and is about to reveal some important information when he is struck by a bullet and killed. While Dr. Bruce Clayworth, the town coroner, performs an autopsy on Berton, Nick begins an investigation into the murder by going to Berton's residence at Tom's Auto Court. There he learns that Berton had a fight with someone earlier in the week, and that the fight may have been over Laura Ronson, the daughter of banking tycoon Sam Ronson and the girl friend of Tom Clayworth. Inside Berton's room, Nick finds a rare Cuban cigar wrapper and continues searching for clues until Crazy Mary, a local ... +


Nick Charles, the famous New York detective, takes his wife Nora and their dog Asta to his sleepy hometown of Sycamore Springs to visit his parents and celebrate his birthday. Soon after they arrive, Nora discovers that Nick's father, Dr. Bertram Charles, is disappointed in his son for not having become a doctor as he did. Determined to show Bertram that Nick is an accomplished sleuth, Nora encourages Nick to find and solve a crime in the small town. When a rumor begins to spread through town that Nick is visiting Sycamore Springs to investigate a case, some of the residents, especially Edgar Draque, who is secretly involved in an espionage ring, become alarmed. Draque tells his wife Helena that they must leave town immediately after they get their hands on a particular painting by local artist Peter Berton. Meanwhile, Nora, who is looking for a gift for Nick's birthday, finds the Berton painting in Willie Crump's art store and buys it for Nick. Later that night, Berton arrives at the Charles house and is about to reveal some important information when he is struck by a bullet and killed. While Dr. Bruce Clayworth, the town coroner, performs an autopsy on Berton, Nick begins an investigation into the murder by going to Berton's residence at Tom's Auto Court. There he learns that Berton had a fight with someone earlier in the week, and that the fight may have been over Laura Ronson, the daughter of banking tycoon Sam Ronson and the girl friend of Tom Clayworth. Inside Berton's room, Nick finds a rare Cuban cigar wrapper and continues searching for clues until Crazy Mary, a local character, enters the room and knocks him unconscious. Nora later shows Nick the painting she bought, but when he tells her that the windmill in the painting brings back bad memories for him, she donates it to the upcoming charity bazaar. Nick continues his investigation with a visit to the Ronsons. There he notices Cuban cigars wrapped in the same wrapper he found in Berton's room. When Laura tells Nick that she knows nothing about Berton's fight, Nick reminds her that her father is known to have objected to her friendship with Berton. R. T. Tatum, one of Ronson's employees, later warns Nick to stop meddling in Ronson's business and threatens to spoil his father's plans to open a hospital if the investigation continues. Nick, however, ignores Tatum's threats and later learns that Mary is Berton's mother. He also learns that Mary gave her son up for adoption when he was a child and that Berton never knew she was his mother. Meanwhile, Draque traces the Berton painting to Nora and offers her $500 for it. Nora, realizing that the painting must be of some worth, quickly loses Draque and takes Nick with her to the bazaar to look for the painting. At the bazaar, Nick and Nora discover that the much sought-after painting was sold to Helena and that Ronson is among the many who have been searching for it. When Nick enters Helena's hotel room, he discovers that she has been knocked unconscious and that the painting is missing. The trail of evidence leads Nick and Nora to Mary's. There, they discover Mary has been murdered, but before they leave, Asta uncovers the hidden painting. Believing he has the evidence he needs to solve the case, Nick calls the police and assembles all the possible suspects at his parents' house. Nick explains to the group that a special instrument has revealed that several of Berton's paintings concealed top secret plans for an airplane propeller manufactured by a company owned by Ronson. After exposing Draque's involvement in a scheme to sell the valuable plans to foreign interests, Nick tricks Dr. Clayworth into revealing himself as the killer. Clayworth desperately grabs the rifle used to kill Berton and points it at Nick, but because Nick has anticipated the move and removed the firing pin, the gun does not fire. The police arrest Clayworth and, to everyone's amazement, the crime is solved. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.