Entertaining if somewhat slighter entry in the classic series. 3.5 Stars

A lesser if still pleasingly entertaining entry in The Thin Man series, Richard Thorpe’s The Thin Man Goes Home adds the fifth of six entries on Blu-ray to the celebrated, classic mystery series.

The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)
Released: 01 Jan 1945
Rated: Approved
Runtime: 100 min
Director: Richard Thorpe
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson
Writer(s): Robert Riskin, Dwight Taylor, Harry Kurnitz
Plot: Nick and Nora Charles visit Nicks parents in Nick's hometown of Sycamore Springs. The town is a very peaceful and law-abiding one but Nick soon has a murder case on his hands.
IMDB rating: 7.4
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: MGM
Distributed By: Warner Archive
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 1 Hr. 41 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: keep case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 11/23/2021
MSRP: $21.99

The Production: 3.5/5

Nick and Nora Charles undertake their fifth cinematic investigation in Richard Thorpe’s The Thin Man Goes Home. Set in a small town rather than in bustling and shadowy metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco and featuring more comedy than in previous entries in the series, The Thin Man Goes Home offers an okay mystery and a gaggle of great character actors but ultimately ranks in the lower half of the half dozen Thin Man series entries.

Needing a vacation, Nick Charles (William Powell) with his steadfast wife Nora (Myrna Loy) heads off to vacation with his parents (Harry Davenport, Lucile Watson) in their home in small town Sycamore Springs. With the noted detective arriving unannounced, the town is abuzz wondering what mysterious case he’s investigating, and very soon there’s a body on the Charles’ doorstep, local painter Peter Burton (Ralph Brooke) shot through the back trying to get in touch with Nick. With his questionable death announced by town coroner Bruce Clayworth (Lloyd Corrigan), several of the townsfolk become agitated and genuinely nervous about his murder investigation including his girl friend Laurabelle Ronson (Gloria DeHaven), her disapproving father Sam (Minor Watson), critical co-worker Willoughby Peavy (Morris Ankrum) at Burton’s full-time job at the local factory, artshop owner Willie Crump (Donald Meek) who sold Burton’s work, Mrs. and Mrs. Edgar Draque (Leon Ames,  Helen Vinson) who bought Burton’s paintings, and town character Crazy Mary (Anne Revere) who has some secrets of her own to hide. Between swilling cider and trying to sidestep the grouchy local police chief (Donald MacBride), Nick finally arrives at the truth.

The screenplay by Robert Riskin and Dwight Taylor lays on the comedy pretty thickly in this fifth installment having a less flashy murder to solve and with less colorful people and less shadowy surroundings as a setting for the crime (with Nick on his best behavior and drinking cider rather than martinis, we have another great difference between this film and the rest of the series). Nora figures in many of the comedy sequences including the couple making their way through an enormously overstuffed train (being the only Thin Man filmed during wartime, overcrowded trains crammed with lots of service men and regular passengers were the norm), Nora struggling with an uncooperative lawn chair (a funny bit with a hilarious payoff), Nora tailing the man she suspects of the murder (Nick’s crony Brogan played by Edward Brophy) in a sequence that’s almost pure padding, and Nora succumbing to the jitterbug at a local charity dance. Journeyman MGM director Richard Thorpe handles the comedy (easy gags with a continuously collapsing table and Nick’s cider addiction) and the mystery with a sure if unremarkable hand, and the cozy denouement with all of the suspects crowded into a room while Nick traces the motives and methods of the murder carefully point by point recalls all of the earlier entries of the series.

William Powell doesn’t really add any new colors to the Nick Charles he’s created in four previous movies, but he’s as steady and reliable as always. Myrna Loy’s Nora seems a little denser here than in the previous films. All of the esteemed character actors who pop up throughout the movie are aces here: sweet and warm Lucile Watson and crusty Harry Davenport as the parents, amusingly befuddled Donald Meek as the craft shop owner, Leon Ames as the secretive Edgar Draque, artificially solemn Gloria DeHaven as the town flirt, Lloyd Corrigan as the jolly town coroner, Edward Brophy as Nick’s mysterious ally (who always seems to be “in the bushes” at important moments), and the priceless Anne Revere as the troubled and tragic Crazy Mary. Trust the MGM of the time to have just the right persons to place in parts that suit them utterly.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

The film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.37:1 is faithfully recreated in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Sharpness is excellent and consistent throughout, and the grayscale features especially deep black levels and wonderful contrast that often allows the picture to “pop.” There are no traces of age-related scratches, splices, or spots to mar the viewing experience. The movie has been divided into 25 chapters.

Audio: 5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono sound mix is exactly what one would expect for a movie of this era. Dialogue has been recorded most professionally and has been combined with David Snell’s unassuming background score and the multiple sound effects for a pleasing aural presentation. There are no problems with anomalies like hiss, crackle, pops, or flutter.

Special Features: 2/5

Why Daddy? (9:24, SD): Robert Benchley comedy short

Screwball Squirrel (7:25, HD): 1944 animated short

Theatrical Trailer (2:11, HD)

Overall: 3.5/5

A lesser if still pleasingly entertaining entry in The Thin Man series, Richard Thorpe’s The Thin Man Goes Home adds the fifth of six entries on Blu-ray in the celebrated, classic mystery series. With only Song of the Thin Man to go, collectors can now eagerly expect to have their collections complete in the (hopefully) near future.

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Nelson Au

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My pre-order for this is coming today. I’m not an expert on The Thin Man series, I have been collecting each title as Warner Archive is releasing them, looks like after this title, there is one more to complete the series; Song of the Thin Man.
 

Will Krupp

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This is the third week in a row that Amazon got Warner Archive releases to me on day one. Maybe the drought is dissipating? Can't wait to sit down with it!
 

Astairefan

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Do you think that WB will ever just do a Thin Man box set in BLD? Just seems right....one and done, LOL!!!
I'd say the most likely answer is "Don't count on it" for at least three reasons:

1) We're talking about a six film series here, and WAC has yet to release anything more than a 4-film set on BD. Also, they have been working with a maximum MSRP of about $50 for all their releases for a few years now (technically, it was a few bucks less than that, but it's close enough). With the MSRP generally amounting to $10 per disc on these sets, that just makes it highly unattractive to them. Now, could they do two three-film sets? That seems more likely, except for my next two reasons.

2) This might just be coincidence, but so far, it seems like all their box sets of previously released titles (like the Bogie/Bacall set, the Noirs, the Horror, the Hitchcocks, etc.) have come out when the industry is having some issues, like the replication plant closing in 2018 (when we got the Bogie/Bacall set and the Batman animated movie double-feature) or the pandemic closing everybody down for a few months in 2020. I think those sets were released then because the transfers were done (which is where they ran into trouble in 2020, with all the film labs and storage facilities closed down) and the discs were already replicated (which probably helped in 2018). Right now, the industry is facing a similar issue to what EVERYBODY is facing: that of supply chain issues. However, this makes a box set LESS likely, as those materials include the disc cases, so I wouldn't count on anything more soon.

3) The last, and equally big problem here, is that three of the films in this series were from the 1930s. Now, that's big, as most indications, in between RAH and some of the WAC podcasts, seem to indicate that a lot of the 1930s films that WAC has released (not necessarily exclusive to this series) have been EXPENSIVE restorations. And when I say "expensive," I'm not kidding, as we had nearly FOUR years (mid-2015-mid-2019) where none of the Warner-owned films from that decade came out. Not from WHV, not from WAC, not from Criterion and not from Shout. That speaks to the idea that these are not as popular as we would like to think (and, you will notice, they are STILL avoiding films from the 1920s on Blu-ray), and I would be very surprised if these (or any other 30s films) were released in any multi-film sets.

And I certainly don't see WAC releasing a box set alongside the last film, either. I think we are at a point in the physical media game where it isn't worthwhile to restore/remaster films for box sets (I know Kino's Insider has indicated that they are unwilling to do that for a set, and it seems like most of the other labels seem to be operating that way as well). In short, if you want these, I would *suggest* buying the individual releases, or face the possibility of never getting them (since, as I have said, I think a box set is EXTREMELY unlikely).
 

B-ROLL

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Who is “them”?
You know who Them is

1638016089971.jpeg
;)!
 

Will Krupp

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Since I organize my collections (DVD and blu-ray) chronologically by release date, box sets annoy me since, unless it's a particularly beautiful box (like Warner's Fred and Ginger DVD set) I always take them apart to fit them into that system anyway. On a purely selfish level, I'm perfectly happy with single releases, especially with the more or less consistent one a month average we've seen with THE THIN MAN.

This one looks great, by the way. When the elements are good and it's done right, there's something about blu-ray that really makes love to these mid-40's film stocks. Very very happy with this.