|The Classic Original
The Thin Man, like
The Maltese Falcon (1941),
was a Dashiell Hammett book that
brought successfully to the screen.
The studio didn't think too much of the project since William Powell
was "too old" and Myrna Loy had played too many "unfwifely" roles!
So what did they know?!
Myrna Loy wrote her autobiography,
On Being and Becoming (Alfred
Knopf, Inc.; New York; 1987;
pages 89 and 90), and tells
the story of her first
entrance in The Thin Man:
What other director (W.S. [Woody] Van Dyke) would
introduce his leading lady with a perfect thre-point landing on a barrroom floor--even if it was the Ritz bar? I was supposed
to stroll in
|Myrna Loy and William Powell as
|the Charleses with Asta as himself
looking very chic, loaded down with packages, and
leading Asta on a leash, "Can you fall?" Woody asked. "Do you know how to do a fall?" I said, "I've
never worked for Mack Sennett but i'm a dancer. I think I can do it." I would have done anything for Woody, because
I was devoted to him. "You just trip yourself," he explained, "and then go right down."
He put a camera on the floor, a mark where he wanted me to
land, and we shot it without any rehearsal. I must have been crazy. I would have killed myself, but my dance training
paid off. I dashed in with Asta and hit the mark with my chin. It was absolutely incredible!
Today, not only would the unions be called in for a stunt
double for Myrna Loy but the ASPCA and PETA
would ask for one for Asta as well!
|Nick and Nora Charles get a
|bang out of Christmas!
Myrna Loy quotes Hunt Stromberg, their
producer on The Thin Man:
The matrimonial combination
of Powell and Loy--even that was a risk, because in those days you got married at the end of themovie, not at the beginning.
Marriage wasn't supposed to be fun. Myrna says, "I think it's a dirty trick to bring me all the way to New York
to make a widow of me." Bill observes, "You wouldn't be a widow for long." She agrees: "You bet I wouldn't!"
And he counters, "Not with all your money."
It's hard for Maven to imagine anybody today being able to pull these lines
off and still come across as a couple
passionately in love with each other.
Hey, Maven can't imagine anybody doing these
lines today PERIOD!
Adaoted from The Old Movie Blog on
September 8 & 9, 2005.