Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Top Billed Actors: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan
IMDb Rating: 8.2
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 0 Oscars
Nominated for 4 more:
Best Director - W.S. Van Dyke
Best Actor - William Powell
Best Writing (Adapted) - Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Plot: A former detective, his curious wife, and their fearless dog attempt to solve a murder case for shits and gigs.
Although this is only the second of fourteen times the actor and actress were together, the chemistry is stunningly unfathomable. Perhaps it is due to the age gap between the two, but it is difficult to believe they were not romantically involved behind the scenes. The bond they share in this film is a sight to behold as it is layered with a rich helping of classy comedy. The wit of both characters never ceases and their interactions had me laughing out loud too many times to count. All this for a movie 81 years old. The writing of the jokes is great, but the acting by both of these stars really brings it home. The writing of the plot is also excellent. Combining the aforementioned humor with a very interesting mystery has the viewer guessing who the culprit is the entire time. Of course, it is always the person you least expect it, but it makes for some very suspenseful moments. One such moment is when Powell is at the victim's store in the dead of night. The atmosphere along with the plot backdrop had me legitimately frightened. The next moment, I was laughing again. The wit and story features has the audience turning on a dime like this throughout the whole feature.
Most of the acting is superb, but some is outdated, such as the mobster talk from Edward Brophy and the all-too obvious suspicious demeanor from Minna Gombell. Luckily, these characters don't feature too heavily in the story. A little more music would have also benefited the story. Every now and then, a well-done scene transition will occur with music, but the scenes themselves still feel somewhat stagey.
Overall, a solid pace with magnificent acting, witty dialogue, a captivating story, and very charming couple overshadow the minor shortcomings in one Van Dyke's greatest works.
My Score: 8/10