Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

97 or 99 mins | Comedy-drama | November 1941

Director:

W. S. Van Dyke

Producer:

Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographer:

William Daniels

Editor:

Robert J. Kern

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Actress Stella Adler had previously appeared in only one film, Love on Toast , a 1937 Paramount picture in which she used the name Stella Ardler (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2613). As noted in HR news items, actor Barry Nelson (1920--2007), made his motion picture debut in this film. HR production charts list him under the name Robert Nelson, a variation of his real name, Robert Nielson. A HR news item indicates that actor Sheldon Bennett, the brother of character actor George Tobias, made his motion picture debut in this film. For additional information on The Thin Man series, consult the Series Index and see entry for The Thin Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

Actress Stella Adler had previously appeared in only one film, Love on Toast , a 1937 Paramount picture in which she used the name Stella Ardler (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2613). As noted in HR news items, actor Barry Nelson (1920--2007), made his motion picture debut in this film. HR production charts list him under the name Robert Nelson, a variation of his real name, Robert Nielson. A HR news item indicates that actor Sheldon Bennett, the brother of character actor George Tobias, made his motion picture debut in this film. For additional information on The Thin Man series, consult the Series Index and see entry for The Thin Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4572. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Oct 1941.
---
Daily Variety
21 Oct 41
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Oct 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 41
p. 1, 8
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 41
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Oct 41
p. 329.
New York Times
21 Nov 41
p. 23.
Variety
22 Oct 41
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
Asta
Oliver B. Prickett
Arthur Aylsworth
Hardboiled Haggerty
Wee Willie Davis
Richard "Frankie" Burke
Johnnie Berkes
Sidney Melton
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
November 1941
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 21 November 1941
Production Date:
3 August--late August 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 October 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10854
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97 or 99
Length(in feet):
8,714
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7707
SYNOPSIS

In San Francisco, former private detective Nick Charles enjoys a peaceful retirement with his attractive wife Nora, their young son Nick, Jr., and their wire-haired terrier, Asta. One afternoon, when Nick and Nora go to the races, they learn from Nick's old friend, Lieutenant Abrams, that a jockey named Gomez has just been fatally shot. In the jockey room, Nick's police and reporter friends think that he is on the case, but he insists that his detective days are over, even when one of the jockeys piques his curiousity by saying that Gomez was killed because he refused to throw a race. That night, Major Jason I. Sculley, head of the State Athletic Commission, and investigative reporter Paul Clarke arrive at the Charles apartment, seeking Nick's help, but he again refuses, saying that he has promised to take Nora to a wrestling match. Later, at the arena, "Whitey" Barrow, a reporter and rival of Paul, blackmails suspected racketeer "Link" Stephens' girl friend, Claire Porter, into giving him her diamond bracelet. While Nick and Nora watch the match, bookie "Rainbow" Benny Loomis goes to Stephens' office upstairs and hides when Whitey comes in and demands money for keeping Stephens' name "clean" in the newspapers. After Whitey leaves, Benny angrily tells Stephens that Whitey owes him $8,000. In a nearby restaurant, Paul meets his girl friend, Molly Ford, who has been helping his investigation by working undercover as Stephens' secretary, and she reluctantly gives Paul her office key. As Paul searches Stephens' office, he is confronted by a gun-wielding Whitey, who demands a notebook that Paul has just found. During a scuffle, Whitey takes the notebook ... +


In San Francisco, former private detective Nick Charles enjoys a peaceful retirement with his attractive wife Nora, their young son Nick, Jr., and their wire-haired terrier, Asta. One afternoon, when Nick and Nora go to the races, they learn from Nick's old friend, Lieutenant Abrams, that a jockey named Gomez has just been fatally shot. In the jockey room, Nick's police and reporter friends think that he is on the case, but he insists that his detective days are over, even when one of the jockeys piques his curiousity by saying that Gomez was killed because he refused to throw a race. That night, Major Jason I. Sculley, head of the State Athletic Commission, and investigative reporter Paul Clarke arrive at the Charles apartment, seeking Nick's help, but he again refuses, saying that he has promised to take Nora to a wrestling match. Later, at the arena, "Whitey" Barrow, a reporter and rival of Paul, blackmails suspected racketeer "Link" Stephens' girl friend, Claire Porter, into giving him her diamond bracelet. While Nick and Nora watch the match, bookie "Rainbow" Benny Loomis goes to Stephens' office upstairs and hides when Whitey comes in and demands money for keeping Stephens' name "clean" in the newspapers. After Whitey leaves, Benny angrily tells Stephens that Whitey owes him $8,000. In a nearby restaurant, Paul meets his girl friend, Molly Ford, who has been helping his investigation by working undercover as Stephens' secretary, and she reluctantly gives Paul her office key. As Paul searches Stephens' office, he is confronted by a gun-wielding Whitey, who demands a notebook that Paul has just found. During a scuffle, Whitey takes the notebook and knocks Paul out. Then, an unseen assailant shoots Whitey, just as a night watchman sees Benny going down the stairs. After the match, Nick and Nora again run into Abrams, who tells them about Whitey's murder. In Stephens' office, as a dazed Paul is questioned by police, Nora asks Nick to do something to help. Nick quickly determines that a piece of paper lying on the floor is a tally for a bookie operation, and Paul is arrested by Abrams. Nick then goes with Asta to the racetrack to search the jockey room and discovers that in a freakish accident, Gomez killed himself. The next day, however, Nick goes to Abrams and tricks him into releasing information to the press, saying that the police are convinced that Gomez and Whitey were killed by the same person and that an innocent Paul is being released. Following a hunch, Nick goes to visit Claire, who says she hardly knew Whitey, but her anger makes Nick suspicious. Nick then goes to Whitey's apartment, where Asta helps him find a diamond bracelet. Just then, Claire enters the apartment and Nick hides while observing her search for something. He then confronts her and she admits that the bracelet is hers and that although Whitey blackmailed her, she does not think that Stephens knows that she had once been Whitey's girl. She also tells Nick about the money Whitey owed Benny. That night, Nick and Nora meet Paul and Molly at a restaurant, where Nick runs into Benny and tells him that the watchman saw him the night of Whitey's murder. Benny nervously leaves after Nick discovers that he is wearing a bullet-proof vest. Paul then calls Sculley and says that Nick needs information, and Sculley agrees to meet them at Benny's apartment building. Sculley, who says that he had talked to Benny a few days before, takes them directly to Benny's apartment, where they find his hanging dead body. They also find remnants of the notebook and Nick observes that the rough markings on Benny's neck rule out a suicide. Nick then suggests that all of the suspects be assembled in Abrams' office. The next day, Nick confronts each suspect with reasons why he or she might be the murderer and solves the case when the superintendent of Benny's building calls to say that Benny had only lived for three hours in the apartment in which he died. Because Sculley took Nick and Paul right to Benny's place, Nick deduces that Sculley killed Whitey then Benny to cover up the fact that Stephens had been bribing him. Sculley then grabs Nick's gun, but Nora jumps him and saves everyone, unaware that Nick had earlier emptied his gun. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.