Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ten Movies on an Island: William Powell

William Powell is one of my top three actors, along with John Wayne and Cary Grant. However, unlike the other two who I grew up watching, Powell came along later.

The first films I saw of his were on a dvd from the dollar store, a double feature: My Man Godfrey (my first introduction to Carole Lombard) and Life with Father. I found Godfrey to be a bit too crazy for my tastes at the time, but my entire family loved Powell's Oscar-nominated performance in Life with Father. A couple years after that I saw the first four Thin Man films and I know I enjoyed them but I didn't go crazy over them. Then, a couple of years ago, I rewatched the Thin Man films and realized just how brilliant Powell and Loy were as a comedy team. It didn't take me long to try to get my hands on all of the other films they made together, as well as watch as many of Powell's films that I could find (thanks TCM and YouTube!). Since then I have watched almost all of Powell's "talkies." I think I just have around a dozen films left. I just discovered a couple of them here and keep hoping TCM will air some of the others.

Narrowing down my favorite ten William Powell films is pretty much next to impossible. Just presume that all the rest are Honorable Mentions ;)
1. The Thin Man (1934)
2. My Man Godfrey (1936) - Carole Lombard
3. Libeled Lady (1936) - Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy
4. After the Thin Man (1936)
5. Double Wedding (1937) - Myrna Loy
6. Another Thin Man (1939) - Myrna Loy
7. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
8. The Thin Man Goes Home (1945) - Myrna Loy
9. Life with Father (1947) - Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor
10. Mister Roberts (1955) - Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney
When did you discover William Powell? Have you seen all of his pairings with Loy? What's your favorite Powell film outside of the Thin Man series?


  1. I love William Powell! I first discovered him "The Thin Man" - which is also my favorite film of his - and I've been in love with him ever since.

    Yes, I have seen all of his pairings with Myrna Loy and I wish there was more. They were the perfect screen team. My favorite William Powell film outside of the "Thin Man" series... I'd say probably "Libeled Lady," "I Love You Again" or "Love Crazy." I also really like "Life With Father" and "Mister Roberts."

    1. I'm always reading where Loy was asked to co-star on some of his other films and she turned them down. Wish she hadn't!

  2. Awesome list! My Man Godfrey is such a standout for me, not just of Powell's career, but of 1930s movies in general.

    Many hugs & happy mid-July wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Even just the year 1936 was impressive! Thanks for reading :)

  3. I completely forgot he was in Mister Roberts! Hot diggity, now I want to watch that again.

    I adore him in the Thin Man movies, and love the joy and frolicsomeness Nick and Nora's marriage contains.

    1. I love how it shows marriage as fun, as so many movies either end with an engagement or start with a divorce and end with a reconciliation.

    2. YES! That's one reason I really like The Mummy Returns too, because they have a happily-married couple who don't have their relationship fall apart over the course of the film.