The Third Man

(1949)

Genres: Thriller, Mystery

Kartina Richardson: The Thin Man

Transcript for Kartina Richardson: The Thin Man

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Up next, our contributor Kartina Richardson takes a look at the classic “Thin Man” series of films. Here’s Kartina

KARTINA RICHARDSON:
When I’m feeling down the first people I turn to to brighten my day are Nick and Nora Charles and the Thin Man movies.

KARTINA:
Nick and Nora were the beloved stars of the six Thin Man movies. The first, The Thin Man was released in 1934 and the last, Song of the Thin Man, in 1947. William Powell played Nick Charles, a detective that makes being perpetually drunk look elegant, while Myrna Loy played his sarcastic wife Nora. Together Nick & Nora guided Americans through two of darkest times in the 1st half of the century, the Great depression and WWII. Their glamorous, sexy, but firmly unpretentious life was an ideal for a depressed and raggedy public.

Now, these movies are actually murder mysteries, but the murders don't matter. After the first watch, the cases become accessories. 

KARTINA:
I don't care who killed Stinky Davis anymore. I watch for Nick & Nora. Now, I think the reason we return to Nick and Nora over and over again is because of the dialogue, the witty zingers. And it’s true in a way.  But it’s really what that exchange represents that brings us back.

CLIP

KARTINA:
The Charleses share an intimacy so rare, few people dare to believe in its existence: True security without a whisper of boredom.

CLIP

KARTINA:
In the Charles' world, faults are never irritating. Nora teases Nick about his vices. And Nick patiently foils Nora’s Lucy Ricardo-esque attempts at sleuthing. 

CLIP

KARTINA:
But these aren't serious problems. Nothing truly threatens the Charles' union. Their love is a fact. Nick & Nora have fun with each other. They splash around in their love. It's not something to be handled with kid gloves.  Yeah, the Thin Man movies have a lot of genius wise cracks in them, but when Nick & Nora interact on screen, they calm us. Their security is our security.

KARTINA:
This is the true beauty of Mystery duos. We get all the drama and danger of crime sleuthing, and all the comfort and safety of a healthy, loyal, relationship. We desire, perhaps more than anything else, loyalty, in all forms, from friends, family, lovers, even pets. We need it in our lives, even if it’s in a movie.  Nora will always be with Nick, and Asta the dog will always be with Nick & Nora.