Now Entering or Leaving Manhattan

The Thin Man Goes Home (1945): written by Robert Riskin, Dwight Taylor, and Harry Kurnitz; directed by Richard Thorpe; starring William Powell (Nick Charles) and Myrna Loy (Nora Charles): So-so penultimate entry in the six-movie Thin Man series plays up comedy and Asta the dog in the first half before turning to an interesting mystery in the second half. William Powell and Myrna Loy are charming as always, but this is certainly a case of diminishing returns when it comes to a film series. Lightly recommended.

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984): written by Tom Patchett, Jay Tarses, and Frank Oz; directed by Frank Oz; starring the voices of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goetz, Steve Whitmire, Richard Hunt, and Jerry Nelson; and Juliana Donald (Jenny), Lonny Price (Ronnie Crawford), and Louis Zorich (Pete): Amiable third Muppets movie takes place in an alternate timeline from the first two. Or perhaps it’s a movie made by the Muppets of the first two films, played so straight and non-meta that no one addresses the camera at any point. 

As always, the Jim Henson Muppets are a fun and charming bunch. The film riffs on the old ‘Let’s put on a musical!’ chestnut. It also sees all the Muppets graduate simultaneously from college at the beginning of the film. Clearly this is either Earth-2 or a fictional movie about the Muppets! (In)famous for introducing that blight The Muppet Babies on the world. Because it’s not a non-fictional Muppet movie, any marriages performed seem to have been permanently treated as ‘Out-of-Canon’ afterwards. Recommended.

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