Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Depp to play Nick Charles? Who's his Nora?

As every movie geek knows, Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man" spawned a swoony series of 1930s comedies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a swellegant, Martini-swilling pair of married sleuths. Apart from the fact that this property doesn't need updating, Johnny Depp has been cast in an update. Who should be his Nora?

Depp to play Nick Charles? Who's his Nora?

William Powell self-medicates as Myrna Loy cross-examines in the 1934 "The Thin Man"
William Powell self-medicates as Myrna Loy cross-examines in the 1934 "The Thin Man"

As every movie geek knows, Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man" spawned a swoony series of 1930s comedies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a swellegant, Martini-swilling pair of married sleuths. Apart from the fact that this property doesn't need updating, Anne Thompson reports that Johnny Depp has been cast in an update. Who should be his Nora? (Hammett based the bickering, snickering, schnockered couple on himself and girlfriend Lillian Hellman).

Lovers of the Thin Man books and movies know that the attempt to adapt it to Broadway about 20 years ago was a fiasco. Still, because it's a property where the male and female characters are in an imperfectly perfect marriage, it would be fun to watch Depp play verbal tennis with his equal.

My first thought was Emma Stone, droll comedienne of Easy A, who was born with tongue in cheek. Alas, at 22, she's less than half the age of Depp, 47. Kristen Wiig, 37, is a possibility. As are Drew Barrymore (36) and Paula Patton (35).

Your thoughts? Alternatively, your favorite Thin Man scene? My favorite is from the 1934 original. The scene: Christmas morning, after a Christmas Eve party where Nick survived being shot. Nick is on the sofa, tippling something or other, shooting the globes off the tree with a BB gun. Reading the morning paper, Nora trills, "Darling, it says they shot your four times in the tabloids." Nick's riposte: "He didn't get anywhere near my tabloids."

 

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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