Tagged: Nick Charles

After the Thin Man: White Tie for New Year’s Eve

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)... with Skippy as Asta

William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936)… with Skippy as Asta

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

San Francisco, New Year’s Eve 1936

Film: After the Thin Man
Release Date: December 25, 1936
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

After the Thin Man was released on Christmas 1936 as a continuation of The Thin Man, as its title implies. The all-original story was drafted by Dashiell Hammett himself immediately after the success of the first film, although Hammett had first envisioned circumstances that would send his witty detective duo back to New York City. Eventually, the decision was made to have the Charles couple solving a crime in their hometown of San Francisco. Continue reading

The Thin Man: Nick’s Christmas Loungewear

William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934)... with Skippy as Asta!

William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934)… with Skippy as Asta!

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

New York City, Christmas 1933

Film: The Thin Man
Release Date: May 25, 1934
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

Suffice it to say that Nick and Nora Charles had quite a Christmas. Following a drunken holiday party, the sleepy couple was interrupted by the gat-wielding Joe Morelli (Edward Brophy), a fast-talking “get me, see?”-type of gangster whose quick trigger finger is no match for Nick Charles’ quick wit.

A few hours later, Nick spends Christmas morning recovering and in a perpetual daze possibly due to his recent flesh wound, the magic of the holidays, or – most likely – a large quantity of Scotch in his system. Continue reading

The Thin Man Goes Home: Nick Charles’ Houndstooth Sportcoat

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man Goes Home (1945).

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man Goes Home (1945).

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

Sycamore Springs, Summer 1944

Film: The Thin Man Goes Home
Release Date: January 25, 1945
Director: Richard Thorpe
Costume Supervisor: Irene

Background

Although it isn’t one of the better films in the Thin Man series, The Thin Man Goes Home offers us a glimpse of Nick Charles’ pre-detective home life in “Sycamore Springs”, an idyllic small town somewhere in New England, in an attempt to ground the man we’d before known only as a wise-cracking, hard-drinking urbanite.

The Thin Man Goes Home, released in early 1945 when the world was still at war, was the fifth in the six-film series that had rapidly began losing momentum. After a strong start, each movie progressively lost the trademark wit of the original, replacing it with family-friendly hijinks and – most notably – less booze. Nick Charles’ shady Greek origins (the family’s original surname was Charalambides in Hammett’s novel) were replaced by a WASPy neighborhood in small town U.S.A. Although it is curious that Nick and Nora leave their young son at home, especially given the series’ new direction in favor of family. Continue reading

A Black Tie Christmas with Nick Charles

BAMF Style’s 5 Days of Christmas

To celebrate the holidays, BAMF Style will be chronicling the finest yuletide looks from some of our favorites. If you have any suggestions that don’t make it onto the blog this week, don’t worry, there’s always next year. Or the year after. (Or, if it’s a really good one, Christmas in July?)

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man.

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man (1934).

The easiest way to begin (and to celebrate Formal Friday) is naturally…

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

New York City, Christmas 1933

Film: The Thin Man
Release Date: May 25, 1934
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

Following his Christmas celebrations, Nick Charles is naturally called upon by the police to solve a murder. With the two most useful tools at his disposal – a sharp wife and an infallible liver – he does so with gusto. Unlike most policemen’s standard procedure of bringing a suspect in for questioning, this would be the waste of a fine dinner party opportunity for a bon vivant like Nick. Naturally, the suspects are the guests of honor, aptly served their dinner and drinks by armed policemen. Continue reading

The Thin Man: Nick Charles’ First Suit

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man (1934)

William Powell as Nick Charles in The Thin Man (1934)

The holidays are a time of homecoming, family, tradition, and libations.

Unless you’re Nick Charles, who believes in getting far away from family to spend Christmas Eve with criminals he had sent to prison during his days as a policeman. Naturally, the libations part is still essential.

Vitals

William Powell as Nick Charles, retired private detective

New York City, Christmas 1933

Film: The Thin Man
Release Date: May 25, 1934
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Wardrobe Credit: Dolly Tree

Background

The big screen’s introduction to Nick Charles is one of my favorites. We have already met the “Thin Man” himself, Clyde Wynant, during the film’s opening scene. (Despite Powell’s slim frame, he actually is not the “Thin Man” of the title) We then cut to a big Christmas party at a bar – drinks, dancing, fun. Clearly people are still celebrating the end of Prohibition which, according to the film’s storyline, had been only weeks earlier.

We search through the party and, naturally, find William Powell standing at the bar, shaking a cobbler shaker vigorously “to waltz time”. He strains into a tiny martini glass and, ever the gentleman, places it on the waiter’s tray. He then turns back to the waiter, accepts his drink with a polite smile, and enjoys his first onscreen Martini. Or the sixth, according to him. Continue reading