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Hollywood Romantic ComedyStates of the Union, 1934-65$
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Kathrina Glitre

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719070785

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719070785.001.0001

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Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell

Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell

3 (p.65) Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell
Hollywood Romantic Comedy

Kathrina Glitre

Manchester University Press

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

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