- Myrna Loy and William Powell: The Best Films
- 14. The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947)
- 13. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
- 12. Song of the Thin Man (1947)
- 11. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)
- 10. Double Wedding (1937)
- 9. I Love You Again (1940)
- 8. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
- 7. Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
- 6. Love Crazy (1941)
- 5. Another Thin Man (1939)
- 4. Evelyn Prentice (1934)
- 3. After the Thin Man (1936)
- 2. Libeled Lady (1936)
- 1. The Thin Man (1934)
While I love iconic duos like no one else, there are a few that I’ll admit are THE BEST. All caps. And Myrna Loy and William Powell fit in this elite group of The Best Iconic Pairs Of All Time.
From 1934 to 1947, these two superstars were in 14(!) films together. And in this handy little article, I’ve decided to rank all 14 of those collaborations, from great to fantastic. Because let’s be honest — there really isn’t any horrible Loy-Powell pairing, is there?
Separately, Myrna Loy has been in some amazing films, as has William Powell. But together, there’s just something special about these two. They are MAGIC.
Myrna Loy and William Powell: The Best Films
Of course, this little list is only our humble opinion, and your own thoughts may differ slightly, or incredibly, from ours. That’s okay — we want to hear from you! Make sure to comment below what your favorite Loy-Powell movie is, and we’ll chat!
14. The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947)
Plot: A crooked southern senator worries his party when his tell-all diary is stolen. Features only a cameo by Myrna Loy.
The final 14th pairing of Myrna Loy and William Powell wasn’t necessarily a real pairing. See, Loy only appeared momentarily in a cameo in this Powell-led film. Therefore, we’ve gotta rank this one last in the list, simply because it needs some more Loy-Powell chemistry.
13. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
Plot: A biopic of the legendary producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., as played by William Powell.
Here’s the thing: as much as we love the real-life story of Ziegfeld (trust us, just Google the guy), this movie just doesn’t do it for us. It’s shot so lovely, though, so it’s not like the film is a total waste of time! However, it would be bumped up this list if there was more Loy-Powell time, as Loy doesn’t appear until later on in the film as the wonderful Billie Burke.
12. Song of the Thin Man (1947)
Plot: Nick and Nora Charles hed back to New York to investigate the death of a bandleader.
The last Thin Man movie in the series, Song of the Thin Man, is the weakest link of the series. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad! In an enjoyable series like this one, there really is no horrendous film. There’s just something a bit missing to the regular, brilliant Thin Man storytelling. Even Myrna Loy didn’t like this film and said she “hated it”.
Still, it’s great to see Nick and Nora for one last time, even if this specific outing isn’t as splendid as the original few Thin Mans. Plus, Gloria Grahame is in this one! That’s a win!
11. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)
Plot: The iconic duo heads back to Nick Charles’ old stomping grounds when they visit Nick’s parents. However, their stay isn’t too boring, as they soon find themselves involved in a murder.
The first Thin Man movie to not be shot by original director W.S. Van Dyke, The Thin Man Goes Home is a delight to watch, if a little lacking compared to the original movies. However, Loy and Powell’s chemistry will then make up for this, as the duo proves to be as enjoyable as ever to watch.
10. Double Wedding (1937)
Plot: Chaos ensues when a straight-laced woman uncovers her younger sister’s involvement with a carefree artist. Of course, as the rom-coms go, the older sister slowly falls in love with the polar opposite artist, despite the supposed hate she feels towards him.
Double Wedding is pure fun, especially because it puts Loy and Powell at such opposite ends of the spectrum. Whereas, say, Nick and Nora Charles pretend to disagree but almost seem to be part of the same cloth, Loy and Powell’s characters in Double Wedding are very clearly polar opposites. However, that just brings even more charm to their already lovely chemistry.
9. I Love You Again (1940)
Plot: Powell plays a businessman who wakes up from amnesia, only to discover he’s really a conman — and truly in love with his soon to be ex-wife.
In the ninth pairing of Loy and Powell, we’re back to a screwball comedy where both Powell and Loy use their comedy chops to grand results. There’s a feeling that, with another duo, this movie would be, well, a bit ridiculous. However, with Powell and Loy, it’s ridiculous — but also very, very fun.
8. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
Plot: The fourth Thin Man installment follows Nick and Nora as they uncover a murder while simply trying to enjoy a day at the race tracks.
Another W.S. Van Dyke Thin Man movie, Shadow of the Thin Man is still pure fun, even after three other movies with Nick and Nora. This film also is the film debut of icon Ava Gardner, who has a blink-and-you-’ll-miss-it cameo!
7. Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
Plot: Manhattan Melodrama follows two longtime friends who struggle to keep their friendship alive as they grow up on opposite ends of the law and both fall in love with the same woman.
The pairing of Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and William Powell really was a wise decision to make. Gable and Loy have proven to have grand chemistry in other films, so it was also genius to pit her between him and Powell. It’s insane to see the levels of chemistry she has with both men.
This was actually the first pairing of Loy and Powell, and you can just see the natural chemistry the two already share. The duo would go on to make three films in 1934 alone: Manhattan Melodrama, The Thin Man, and Evelyn Prentice.
6. Love Crazy (1941)
The Plot: After a misunderstanding results in Steve and Susan Ireland breaking up on their fourth wedding anniversary, Steve tries everything in order to win back his one true love. Including acting like an absolutely insane person, as well as his own sister. Yes, William Powell (momentarily) is in drag in this film.
This movie is a joy to watch, if only because William Powell really gets to act wild (much like he gets to do in Double Wedding). For fans used to the calm, cool and collected (albeit drunk) Nick Charles, Love Crazy is a fun film to put on your to-watch list.
As always, Myrna Loy plays the straight-laced, sane character to Powell’s insanity. But yet, somehow after many of their collaborations, this doesn’t get old and their chemistry is still so delightful.
5. Another Thin Man (1939)
Plot: And baby makes three! New parents Nick and Nora Charles are asked to investigate a case where an explosive manufacturer believes that a young man wants to kill him.
Nick and Nora Charles were absolutely delightful in the first two Thin Man films. However, it’s normal to question if the chemistry and charm would stay the same once they threw a baby into the mix. After all, we’ve all seen those movie series or shows that feel completely different once they change the formula of the couple we love so much.
However, it’s safe to say that Nick and Nora are only even more adorable than before now that they have a tot they are carrying around. This is one of the best Thin Man films and will continue to be for a long time coming.
4. Evelyn Prentice (1934)
Plot: An attorney’s wife has an affair with a womanizing man, only to find herself in more than a little trouble when said womanizer ends up murdered.
Here’s the thing: this isn’t a comedy. When we first watched this film, we definitely thought it was a comedy. There aren’t really a ton of serious drama movies that Loy and Powell did together. Other than Evelyn Prentice, Manhattan Melodrama is probably the only one (unless you count The Great Ziegfeld). So, we thought this would be a lighthearted dramedy.
Boy, were we wrong? By the end of this film, we couldn’t believe what we had just watched. Evelyn Prentice truly shows the great acting chops that both Loy and Powell have. These two can do more than just make us laugh — they can also make us cry.
Towards the end of this film (spoilers ahead!), as Powell slowly understands that his wife had an affair with a man who was later murdered, the heartbreak shared between Loy and Powell is heartbreaking. And that alone is why this film is so high up on this list, at least in our opinion.
3. After the Thin Man (1936)
Plot: In the second Thin Man movie, Nick and Nora Charles investigate the disappearance and then later the murder of a man connected to Nora’s family.
A young Jimmy Stewart! A lovely New Year’s midnight kiss! Nick and Nora Charles, back for their second installment!
After the Thin Man really is the best sequel that The Thin Man could’ve asked for. In fact, this movie may have even more Nick and Nora romance than the first. From start to finish, this movie is captivating. But it’s not just Nick and Nora that make this movie something special. From the writing to the acting by everyone involved, this film is a fun time that will always stay a classic.
2. Libeled Lady (1936)
Plot: A newspaperman, his fiance, and a reporter work together to make a falsely printed story accurate in order to steer clear of a high society woman suing for libel.
There’s something about this star-studded movie that just works. Libeled Lady pairs Myrna Loy and William Powell yet again but with some added (and very lovely) costars. Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow round out this cast, to surreal delight.
At the time, Jean Harlow and William Powell were romantically involved, so the film is a joy to watch for this reason alone. Plus, there were more than enough rumors that Spencer Tracy was very much in love with Myrna Loy during the filming, though he quickly moved on once he met (arguably) the love of his life, Katharine Hepburn.
This foursome has chemistry like no other team in Hollywood. And to this day, it’s quite a fun time to watch this romantic comedy unfold.
1. The Thin Man (1934)
Plot: After initially refusing to look into a disappearance case that later turns into a murder case, retired detective Nick Charles drunkenly stumbles through New York with his wife (and partner in crime) Nora Charles, looking for the truth.
Did you expect anything else? The Thin Man is one of the best films to come out of the 1930s, thanks in part to Myrna Loy and William Powell’s charming chemistry. This was one of the first films to really show a husband and wife duo on the same page, as one, in one of the best partnerships cinema has ever seen. Even today, there aren’t a ton of husband-wife duos that are as functional and electric as Nick and Nora Charles.
We have Loy and Powell to thank for this. The rest of the Thin Man films were great, as films with these two stars always are. However, there’s something quite special about this movie — and something quite lovely that’s made it still enjoyable, even decades upon decades after its initial release.
We can’t help but love Nick and Nora Charles. And we feel like we always will.