Let’s start here: Dashiell Hammett is one of my favorite writers of all time. If you haven’t read his work, please do, posthaste. His prose was incredible, the stories fantastic and his characterizations rich. But since several of his books became classic films as well, the movies have become the primary way many people have been introduced to his characters. For example, Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” will always look to me as Hammett described him: “rather pleasantly like a blond satan”, but probably looks to most people like Humphrey Bogart…
Which brings us to today’s post, which is not actually about either Hammett or Bogie, but instead about the woman who portrayed another of Hammett’s most famous characters, Nora Charles. Myrna Loy starred in Hollywood’s version of Hammett’s 1933 novel “The Thin Man,” and she positively shines as the wise-cracking Nora, a role she went on to play in five(!) follow up Thin Man films. And since we are here on an art deco-focused, wedding-related site, may I first just present into evidence this perfect inspirational publicity photo:
Come. On. I want to go to there! I will bring the martinis! Unlike Sam Spade and Humphrey Bogart, I will always envision Nora Charles as Myrna Loy, she was perfection. The book is set in Prohibition-era New York City, the film just post-prohibition, but both are a booze-soaked treat. Read and watch as soon as you can!
And so, today’s Art Deco Hollywood style icon, the lovely Miss Myrna Loy. Though it was her 1934 role as Nora Charles that catapulted her to stardom, she had worked steadily in small silent parts earlier in her career as well, and as you can see in these photos, she perfectly captures the beauty of the era. (Click thumbnails for full size images)