>The other night we finished After the Thin Man (1936). I have seen them all before, but this was a chance to introduce Lily to these classic comedies. She liked it a lot. We had already seen the original The Thin Man (1934) a couple months ago.
What a fun, goofy film, even with all its plot holes and jumps in logic. I have to ask myself if these films could be re-made. If so, who would play the central parts?
And we love Jimmy Stewart. After the Thin Man provided Stewart his first substantial part in a film. Here he is, the kind, lovable Jimmy that we have come to know and love:
And here he is turned into the maniacal killer soon to be apprehended:
It was great to see Stewart transform from kind man to killer. He was already showing us his wonderful talents. Maybe I shouldn’t say we love Jimmy Stewart, Lily is not sure if she does after only seeing him play the bad guy. Now I will have to show her some of his other films.
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I have to say that we have been watching a few other films lately, but I have not been writing about them. Lily LOVED Bringing Up Baby (1938). We also just saw Jason and the Argonauts (1963), which she also loved. A couple days later she had a friend over and they decided to watch Jason. Lily’s friend had never heard of the film. At one point I overheard Lily saying “Harryhausen” and I knew I had done my job. Last night we also watched about 45 minutes of Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). I had to help her with some of the subtitles, but Lily was transfixed. So was I, even though I’ve see the film several times.
3 thoughts on “>We love Nick & Nora”
>I love it whenever you write about Lily’s cinematic education, Tuck.After the Thin Man is actually my favorite of the entire “Thin Man” series. I don’t know if I can say objectively that it’s superior to the original but it has many elements about it that make it a more enjoyable watch for me. Certainly Jimmy Stewart is a big plus. The film also doesn’t feel like it was quite as “rushed” a production as its predecessor. This is probably due to the fact that the studio actually knew what they had on their hands this time around whereas the first one was intended to be just a “B” pic and was shot in two weeks).Finally, you just gotta love that last scene between Nick and Nora. You picked the perfect screengrabs to illustrate it. That “knowing” look by Loy and that expression of shock on Powell’s face. What a wonderful moment. I remember actually yelling at the screen “Oh my gosh! She’s pregnant! Nora is pregnant!” and then running around the house telling so to everybody I ran into (including Maricel, who looked at me like I was nuts, but–to her credit–actually knew what I was talking about). Based on that news I quickly watched the rest of the “Thin Man” movies, which I liked, but found that I had to admit they lacked some “magic” that the first two films had. I’ve read various analyses of the series and many cinephiles tend to agree that when the child entered into Nick and Nora’s life, the characters lost something. At any rate, even the “worst” Thin Man movie is better than most other fare.Glad to hear Lily liked Bringing Up Baby (figured she would given its similarities to What’s Up, Doc?) as well as Jason (and enough to show it to a friend no less). As for introducing her to Stewart in his “good guy” persona I would suggest Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Wonderful Life and Harvey. I’d hold off on Vertigo for a while. I just showed it to Kristin recently and, while she did like it, she admitted it wasn’t really much of a “happy, fun feel-good” movie.Also, I get a kick out of the fact, Tuck, that you’re showing your pre-teenage daughter Werner Herzog films (particularly Aguirre the Wrath of God, which I only saw for the first time a year ago myself). I hope the mother of my children is as progressive as yours.
>Damian, thanks for your comments. I have to agree. We just watched Another Thin Man, when Nick Jr. is now part of the story. The film is still very fun to watch, but the story is even more crazy and convoluted, and goes in too many directions. It seems that After the Thin Man had the advantage of more carefully working a successful formula without pushing it too hard.Yes, I’ve been thinking of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Also, I’ve actually never seen Harvey, if you can believe that. So that one’s on the list too.
>…and Damian, I now remember that Lily has seen Jimmy Stewart before, in Rear Window, but significantly older this time so she didn’t recognize him. She had asked recently to see Rear Window again, so we watched it tonight.