Retired private eye Nick Charles (William Powell) and lively wife/assistant Nora (Myrna Loy) drink and kid in the presences of their terrier Asta while taking on the case of a friend's disappearance, almost for a lark. The sequel involves another missing person's case, this time Nora's cousin's ne'er do well husband, and a greater extortion plot involving the cousin's lover, a wealthy club owner (Jimmy Stewart). The Thin Man delighted Depression era audiences sorely in need of a lift with its playful, funny approach and the unmatched chemistry between Powell and Loy almost incredibly taking precedence to the entangled, secondary Dashiell Hammett murder plot. After the Thin Man (the sophomore effort in a series that spawned five sequels, a TV show, and a remake that has been in development for several years) follows its predecessor almost to a tee, often lamely, Nick and Nora appear less, with a lot more of Asta, who had achieved celebrity status at the time, thrown in for good measure and still retaining the same sense of lightness and fun.
The Thin Man: *** 1/2 out of ****
After the Thin Man: *** out of ****