The Thin Man

“See, Vic, the important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a manhattan, you shake to foxtrot time. A bronx to two-step time. But a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.”

James Wong Howe is often cited as one of the most influential cinematographers there have been. He worked in film from the early days of the silents to the mid-70s when he received his last Oscar nomination for his color work on “Funny Lady.” But his black-and-white cinematography is what he’s primarily known for. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we start up our Black and White Cinematography of James Wong Howe series with W.S. Van Dyke’s 1934 film “The Thin Man.” We talk about the joy of watching this film, and how it really doesn’t come from the mystery so much as the fantastic relationship between Nick and Nora Charles, probably the most famous sleuthing pair to ever grace the silver screen. We talk about Howe and what he brought to the table in this studio production. We chat about William Powell and Myrna Loy and how their chemistry on and off the screen is some of the best, which must be why they starred in 14 films together. We chat about the rest of the cast as well as Van Dyke and his directing style. And we discuss why a film like this works even if its story isn’t that interesting. It’s a fun film to start our new series and we have a great time talking about it. Tune in!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy's Trailer: Pawn Sacrifice — "Everybody loves movies about chess. Right? Okay, so they’re few and far between, but with Steven Knight writing this biopic about the mysterious chess giant Bobby Fischer, and with Edward Zwick directing and Tobey Maguire as Fischer, I’m all in."

Pete’s Trailer: Youth — “Perhaps it’s because I just got back from the dentist where they told me things I never wanted to know about my teeth, but a film in which Michael Caine figures out what it means to be old is right up my alley just about now."