Thursday, 5 March 2015

Golden Couples: William Powell & Myrna Loy

William Powell and Myrna Loy are definitely one of the most popular and charismatic screen teams of all time, but they had a rather hurried and unpromising start.

In 1934, Loy was cast in W. S. Van Dyke's production of Manhattan Melodrama, along with Clark Gable and William Powell. Her first scene in the film required her to run out of a building, through a crowd and jump into a car. The scene was shot at night on a black lot, and Van Dyke, being the speedy director he always was, didn't take the time to introduce Loy to the man she'd be doing the scene with. According to the actress, when Van Dyke called 'action', she jumped into the car and
landed smack on William Powell's lap. He looked up nonchalantly: 'Miss Loy, I presume?' I said, 'Mr. Powell?' and that's how I met the man who would be my partner in 14 films.
Powell and Loy in Manhattan Melodrama (1934).

Following the sucess of Manhattan Melodrama, W. S. Van Dyke cast Powell and Loy in The Thin Man, an adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's detective novel of the same name. The director had been impressed by Powell and Loy's chemistry and bantering friendship during the filming of his previous production, and though they were the perfect choice to play private eye Nick Charles and his wife Nora. And he was absolutely right.

William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man (1934).

The Thin Man was as instant success among critics and audiences alike, and turned William Powell and Myrna Loy into major stars. Their on-screen chemistry was so natural and dynamic that the public actually came to believe that the two were married in real life, even refering to them as "the Powells".

Powell and Loy starred together in 12 more successful films after that, including five Thin Man sequels, but they will always be Mr. and Mrs. Charles to me.

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
The Thin Man (1934) Best Picture nominee in 1934
Evelyn Prentice (1934)
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Best Picture winner in 1936
Libeled Lady (1936) Best Picture nominee in 1936
After the Thin Man (1936)
Double Wedding (1937)
Another Thin Man (1939)
I Love You Again (1940)
Love Crazy (1941)
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
*The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947) Loy makes an uncredited cameo.

My tribute to the amazing Powells.


  1. This is a wonderful discussion about William Powell and Myrna Loy. Their both a favorite of mine, especially William Powell. I've been trying to find as many of his movies as I can lately. He was a true gentleman You did a wonderful job on your tribute video to them, I loved it.

    1. Aww, thank you so much. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I love them too, both individually and as a team. Glad you liked the video as well. :)