With it's witty and daring couple, The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, brought to mind my favorite sleuthing couple of all time. Nick and Nora Charles the star of 6 Thin Man movies and one book by Dashiell Hammett.
I have never read the book so I can't say how much Nora is in it but without her the movies would not have been the same. (There was also a TV show in the 1950s that I'm not familiar with either).
The premise behind the movies is that a detective marries a rich socialite, then tries to retire from the business. Now if this is all that happens we would not have 6 glorious movies to watch. It seems that everywhere they go someone seems to find themselves dead. It is then up to Nick to solve the crime, well almost up to Nick that is. It seems that no matter how hard Nick tries to keep Nora out of it, she always puts herself in the thick of things and in my opinion ends up doing or saying something that helps Nick solve the case.
Now these characters, as played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, are as well rounded as movie characters can get. On the surface you see two people whose constant banter and love of cocktails seems to be all they have in common. Once you get to know them though you are able to witness a strong marriage built on love, respect, and friendship. This was the type of relationship I have always wanted and never seem to be able to find. Watching them together is a joy and I wish they would have made many more Thin Man movies to enjoy. I will say that if these characters were played by two different actors I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the movies as much. William Powell and Myrna Loy have such great chemistry together, they went on and starred in 14 movies together.
As the movies progress something happens that made the characters fuller and richer. At the end of the second movie we learn that Nora is pregnant. The third movie introduces us to little Nicky, Jr. Being able to see how they adapt their lifestyle to this development is hilarious at times. In one of the movies Nicky, Jr. insists that Nick drink milk at the dinner table. Now I'm pretty sure Nick hasn't drunk anything non-alcoholic in years and watching his face as he takes a drink of milk is hilarious.
Now Nick and Nora would not be complete without Asta, their wired-hair terrier, that was their constant companion. Asta is hilarious and acts the coward at all the right times. The obvious affection they hold Asta in, as a dog lover, is wonderful to watch. They even go to the extreme of riding in the baggage car of a train in order to keep Asta with them.
For anyone who has not had the pleasure of watching these movies, I more than strongly suggest them. I implore you, no I beg you to do so. Please take the time and familiarize yourself with two of the best detectives in the biz.
The Movies In Order Are:
The Thin Man
After the Thin Man
Another Thin Man
Shadow of the Thin Man
The Thin Man Goes Home
Song of the Thin Man