’Tis the season to sleuth, drink and be merry!
A murder mystery based on Dashiell Hammett’s final novel, THE THIN MAN finds sophisticated former detective Nick Charles and high-society wife Nora visiting Manhattan at Christmas. Soon they’re approached by a young woman and asked to investigate her father’s disappearance. When complications ensue, so do cocktails: the carefree, wisecracking couple and their fox terrier Asta are on the trail, but as concerned with the finer points of mixing martinis as solving the crime.
Prior to the screening host Nathalie Atkinson and guest Christine Sismondo, a Toronto writer with an arguably unhealthy interest in spirits and cocktails, will talk about Prohibition, the history of drinking on screen and the sweet spot where hardboiled homicide meets lighthearted screwball. Make that—highball.
Produced by MGM as a B-movie, this holiday-set romp was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture (it lost to It Happened One Night) and thanks to the palpable chemistry and impeccable timing between Powell and Loy as the urbane Nick and Nora, launched a now-classic style of cocktail ware as well as several Thin Man sequels.
“Say, how many drinks have you had?” Oh yes, there will be cocktails. Door prize courtesy Cocktail Emporium.
About Christine Sismondo
A National Magazine award-winning writer, Christine Sismondo is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. She is also the author of MONDO COCKTAIL: A Shaken and Stirred History, a history of cocktails and spirits and AMERICA WALKS INTO A BAR: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops, a book in which she tries to change the way the world looks at their local.
THE THIN MAN (1934)
USA, 91 minutes
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy and Maureen O’Sullivan
And introducing Skippy the dog as Asta
Designing the Movies: About the Series
Film series often focus on cast or director, or link by common subject themes. This monthly film lecture series instead considers the crucial contributions of below-the-line craft in both popular favourites and forgotten gems from across the decades, genres and eras. Created and hosted by freelance culture writer and film critic Nathalie Atkinson, a columnist for The Globe and Mail, Designing the Movies explores the talents whose names may be less familiar but whose work in production design, art direction, costume and set decoration is intrinsic to the look and world of their films.