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The Thin Man Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 10+

Death and drinking in otherwise superb Hollywood classic.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic Hollywood screwball comedy/murder story from 1934 includes free-flowing hard liquor -- characters drink a great deal, with very few realistic consequences (only one hangover). Three dead bodies are involved in this murder story, and several guns are brandished and fired, though there's no gore or blood. The lead characters are married and occasionally pass some playful innuendo back and forth. Given that the movie is about grown-ups in grown-up relationships, some kids or teens may not be interested, but if they relent, they'll probably enjoy it. (Plus, there is a cute dog.)

  • Families can talk about the massive alcohol consumption in the movie. How do the characters behave around or under the influence alcohol? How realistic is this depiction? What is missing?
  • What is special about the relationship of the married Nick and Nora? Why aren't more married couples portrayed onscreen like this?
  • This movie was released during the Great Depression. Discuss why it was a success. What would have drawn so many people to see this kind of movie?
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The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Most of the movie is focused on having a good time, but some good ideas can be found buried inside. Over the course of the movie, Nick learns that doing detective work, solving problems, and helping others is perhaps more satisfying than drinking and being lazy. Dorothy learns not to jump to conclusions about her father. And Nora encourages her husband to help others, while at the same time learning to tolerate the more "uncouth" aspects of his job.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Nick the skilled detective who helps people is a good role model, but Nick the lazy drinker is not. More appropriately the married couple here is an interesting model, showing in small measures how to encourage one another, communicate, and compromise.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: This murder mystery has three deaths as part of its plot. Guns are brandished and fired, and there are gunshot wounds (no blood). In one scene a woman hurls a cooking pot at a man's head. Additionally, there is punching, slapping, and fighting (women are slapped), plus arguing and threats.  

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some very mild sexual innuendo, more playful than anything else. The married couple likes to lovingly tease one another. We see some kissing. There's some vague discussion of couples cheating on one another, plus a quick image of a man ogling a "sexy" magazine ad.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main characters -- especially Nick -- are almost constantly drinking hard liquor (rye whisky and gin). There are many jokes about wanting another drink. Nick sometimes acts a bit loose and slurs his words a bit, but he rarely seems to have any difficulty with his drinking, and he stops for the final stretch of the movie (when he's solving the murder). Nora appears once with a hangover. Minor characters are seen smoking a few times.

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