The Thin Man (1934) is the first in a popular series of comic detective films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. The story was adapted from a 1933 novel of the same name written by Dashiell Hammett, the famous author of crime stories.
Nick is a recently retired police detective and his wife Nora is a wealthy heiress, living in California but visiting New York City to spend the Christmas holidays. The married couple’s witty banter animates the story as they enjoy the high life while solving crime mysteries. The success of the original 1933 film led MGM to develop a series, the benefits of which Hollywood is well acquainted. In fact, MGM is well known for franchises. The James Bond spy series (originating through what is now MGM’s United Artists label) has spawned 25 films over 57 years grossing a whopping $7B at the box office, not including blockbuster returns expected from the upcoming No Time to Die. The surprise success of Rocky in 1976 (also originated through MGM’s UA label) starring Sylvester Stallone, led to seven sequels or spin-offs with two more reported to be on the way. With MGM’s announcement this week that it is putting itself up for sale for a cool $5B, the industry will witness just how valuable these film franchises have become.
“I don’t usually look like this, I’ve been Christmas shopping.” – Myrna Loy as Nora Charles