Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell

Kathrina Glitre

in Hollywood Romantic Comedy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780719070785
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700990 | DOI:
Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell

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When people remember Myrna Loy and William Powell, they inevitably think of their roles as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man films. The Thin Man highlights the intimacy and companionship of married life and the film virtually introduces modern marriage to the screen. Loy and Powell's star personae were remodeled to build on the film's success. The Thin Man was one of the films of 1934 that marked the emergence of the new comic style. Although Nick and Nora display screwball traits, the film's plot revolves around a murder mystery, rather than unconventional courtship. This chapter analyses the concept of making marriage fun considering the roles Myrna Loy and William Powell played in their films. In Love Crazy, Powell's character, Steve Ireland, feigns insanity and masquerades as his own spinster sister. These are precisely the kinds of role that in a supporting character would be definitively coded as effeminate, and yet Powell remains decidedly masculine.

Keywords: The Thin Man; Myrna Loy; William Powell; modern marriage; screwball trait

Chapter.  10900 words. 

Subjects: Film

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