The one thing about a murder case is -if you just let people talk long enough, sooner or later, somebody will spill the beans. Well, somebody has.
It’s time for another Thin Man Thursday!
As I have said before, I LOOOOVE The Thin Manseries! The characters, the pacing, the mystery, everything is amazing. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, comedy, drama, and film noir. While the third film was okay, the fourth one was back to amazing and is one of my favorites.
This also has Donna Reed in it before she was a big star.
Unlike the other films in the series, you can watch this one on YouTube for free.
The Charles have left New York and returned to their home in San Francisco. We start off the film with Nick and Nick Jr. going on a walk and stopping in the park where Nick is supposed to be reading little Nick a story. He’s reading to him, but instead of a kids book, it is the odds for the racetrack. That Nick!
I really like that Nicky was shown in the films and that the Charles family were able to have a child and still investigate. It seems like a lot of shows/movies won’t let their crime solvers do that unless they want that character’s story to be all about the fight between work and family. Plus little Nicky is absolutely adorable.
Nick has racing on the mind more than ever as they are headed to the racetrack. While on the way Nick gets pulled over for speeding, but when the cop discovers that it’s Nick Charles the detective, he’s so excited be still gives Nick a ticket, but he also escorts them to the track (siren on).
They are soon caught up in a police and ambulance motorcade as they are also headed to the track. When the Charleses get there, it turns out a jockey was murdered, and not just any jockey, one who had been accused of throwing a race only the day before, and a witness in a gambling syndicate case.
Also arriving on the scene is our old pal Lt. Abrams from After the Thin Man. I really liked Lt. Abrams so I’m glad they brought him back. Another character who will be central to our plot is newspaperman Paul Clarke (Barry Nelson), a thorn in Abrams side and a friend of Nick.
Lt. Abrams tries to get Nick on in the investigation, but again Nick refuses. The only way he ever gets involved is if a friend is in trouble.
Later that evening, Major Jason I. Sculley and Paul come to Nick and beg him to take on the case, but as always he is still uninterested. While Nick is stubborn, he is loyal. He will constantly refuse unless he needs to lend a friend a hand.
Nick tries to use Nora as an excuse as to why he can’t help, he needs to take her out places. (To be honest I think Nick just wants to do his own thing whether it is stay home and relax or go out and go to places he wants to go to, he’s kind of over being the world’s greatest detective).
However, this backfired as Nora wants to go out to a wrestling match and Paul happily offers his press badge to them.
They go to the fight and tensions are high. Something is going down with the gambling syndicate owner. Newspaperman Whitey seems to be too familiar with Stephens, the gambling syndicate owner, he also is interested in the gangster’s girl. But his interest isn’t in her, but the money she owes him.
As it always tends to happen, whenever Nick is out he always runs into people he used to know, (more often people he sent to prison), and they all love him. It’s hilarious how many friends he has, often “unsavory” people in comparison to the ones Nora is friends with. L
Link Stephens, arena owner and head of gambling syndicate has missed most of the bout as he has had some “serious business”. His secretary is Molly (Donna Reed), who also happens to be the girlfriend of Paul. While Molly gets ready to leave, Whitey comes by and tries to get with Molly, who staunchly refuses. She goes to leave, but doubles back to listen to then talk. Whitey has been helping Link by keeping him clean in the papers and trying to cover up/avert suspicion. However, it sounds like he wants more than his usual cut and is trying to intimidate Link.
Whitey tries to get money, $10,000 out of Link who asks him to come back later (not good). Not only is he trying to get that money, the money from Link’s girl, but he also borrowed $8000 form “Rainbow” Benny. Why does he need so much money?
Molly goes to meet Paul for supper and the two talk about her job and his story. Paul feels so frustrated that he hasn’t had a break in it and takes Molly’s keys intent on searching Link’s office for solid proof. When he’s there he searches for things, Whitey comes upon him, he gets knocked out.
When he wakes up the police have come as someone discovered Whitey’s dead body and Paul is the one they are looking at for murder.
Nick gets on the case to help his friend, and like all the mysteries the twist is one you wouldn’t suspect.
For more on The Thin Man, go to He Comes Here to New York and, Bing, There’s a Murder. He Goes Back to the West Coast…Bing, There’s Another Murder. He Comes Back Here, Meets This Lois MacFay and…Bing – Bing – Bing! There’s Another Murder: Another Thin Man (1939)
For more film noir, go to Pick Us Up Another Thin Man, Will Ya Nick?: After the Thin Man (1936)