William Powell Movies

song-of-the-thin-man-william-powell-1947Want to know the best William Powell movies?  How about the worst William Powell movies?  Curious about William Powell’s box office grosses or which William Powell movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which William Powell movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

William Powell (1892-1984) seems to be only remembered for two film roles: Nick Charles in 6 Thin Man movies (1934-1947) and as the good-hearted father in 1947’s Life With Father.  Those are only two of many great movie performances in movie career that lasted almost 35 years and produced almost 100 movies.  It is hard not to mention Myrna Loy when discussing  Powell.  He and  Loy appeared in 14 movies together….their screen partnership was one of the most successful screen duos ever!

His IMDb page shows 96 acting credits 1922-1955. This page will rank 36 William Powell movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, his many shorts and cameos were not included in the rankings.

Myrna Loy and William Powell appeared in 14 movies together.

Myrna Loy and William Powell appeared in 14 movies together.

William Powell Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort William Powell movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort William Powell movies by actual domestic box office grosses
  • Sort William Powell movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort William Powell movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses (when available) using current movie ticket cost    *If the adjusted domestic is the same as the worldwide gross….then it means we were unable to find worldwide grosses
  • Sort William Powell movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each William Powell movie received and how many Oscar® wins each William Powell movie won.
  • Sort William Powell movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive.
RankMovie (Year)CoStarsActual Box Office (Millions)Adjusted Domestic Box Office (Millions)Adjusted WorldWide Box Office (Millions)Critic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUltimate Movie Rankings Score
Life with Father (1947)Elizabeth Taylor$11.13$244.40$244.4081.0%04 / 0077.50
Mister Roberts (1955)Henry Fonda & James Cagney$18.70$292.30$292.3088.0%03 / 0175.85
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)Luise Rainer & Spencer Tracy & Myrna Loy$6.60$214.40$327.3064.5%07 / 0372.58
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)Marilyn Monroe$16.06$217.60$217.6080.3%01 / 0068.72
My Man Godfrey (1936)Carol Lombard$3.30$107.20$107.2086.0%06 / 0063.54
Ziegfeld Follies (1946)Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire$7.92$183.50$274.4070.5%00 / 0061.37
After the Thin Man (1936)Myrna Loy & James Stewart$4.38$142.10$225.7087.7%01 / 0059.70
The Thin Man (1934)Myrna Loy$2.03$71.50$118.6087.5%04 / 0059.32
Libeled Lady (1936)Spencer Tracy & Myrna Loy$3.52$114.50$193.3078.5%01 / 0053.98
The Last Command (1928)Emil Jannings$4.14$102.60$96.6087.5%02 / 0152.14
I Love You Again (1940)Myrna Loy$3.38$98.30$137.3082.5%00 / 0048.53
Another Thin Man (1939)Myrna Loy$3.35$97.40$142.1080.5%00 / 0047.65
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)Myrna Loy$3.20$92.60$147.0077.0%00 / 0045.47
Double Wedding (1937)Myrna Loy$2.89$90.10$140.4072.5%00 / 0043.40
One Way Passage (1932)Kay Francis$1.74$64.10$90.1081.0%01 / 0142.77
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)Myrna Loy$3.89$93.40$168.9065.5%00 / 0041.60
Love Crazy (1941)Myrna Loy$2.15$62.50$62.5082.5%00 / 0041.37
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)Clark Gable & Myrna Loy$1.74$60.90$60.9076.5%01 / 0140.56
Beau Geste (1926)Ronald Coleman$3.30 $89.30$89.3059.0%00 / 0038.51
Crossroads (1942)Hedy Lamarr$3.52$98.30$147.8053.5%00 / 0038.38
Romola (1924)Lillian Gish$2.20$71.50$71.5063.0%00 / 0036.70
Song of the Thin Man (1947)Myrna Loy$2.09$45.50$45.5074.0%00 / 0035.00
The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936)Jean Arthur$1.61$52.00$77.2069.0%00 / 0034.55
Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)Joan Crawford$2.45$76.30$76.3054.5%00 / 0034.34
Evelyn Prentice (1934)Myrna Loy$1.54$54.40$54.4065.5%00 / 0033.80
Fashions of 1934 (1934)Bette Davis$1.25$44.70$75.6067.0%00 / 0032.39
Reckless (1935)Jean Harlow & Mickey Rooney$1.83$61.70$99.9056.0%00 / 0031.94
Escapade (1935)Luise Rainer$1.27$43.00$72.2065.5%00 / 0031.52
The Hoodlum Saint (1946)Angela Lansbury$2.54$59.30$80.4056.0%00 / 0031.46
The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937)Luise Rainer$1.61$50.30$91.7060.0%00 / 0031.06
The Kennel Murder Case (1933)Mary Astor$.97$34.10$52.8069.0%00 / 0030.97
Star of Midnight (1935)Ginger Rogers$1.44$48.70$67.4060.5%00 / 0030.91
Jewel Robbery (1932) Kay Francis$0.69$26.00$34.9070.5%00 / 0029.87
Double Harness (1933)Ann Harding$0.83$29.20$37.3065.5%00 / 0028.76
The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)Elizabeth Taylor$2.20$30.00$30.0057.0%00 / 0025.95
It's A Big Country (1951)Gene Kelly & Gary Cooper$1.78$29.20$29.2046.0%00 / 0021.94

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above William Powelll Table

  1. Nine William Powell movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 25.00% of his movies listed. Mister Roberts (1955) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average William Powell movie grosses  $91.30 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  29 William Powell movies are rated as good movies…or 80.55% of his movies.  Mister Roberts (1955) is his highest rated movie while It’s A Big Country (1951) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Eleven William Powell movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 30.55% of his movies.
  5. Five William Powell movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 13.88% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 39.86.  18 William Powell movies scored higher that average….or 50.00% of his movies.   Life with Father (1947) got the the highest UMR Score while  got the lowest It’s A Big Country (1951) UMR Score.

THIS PAGE IS NOT A COMPLETED PAGE.  JUST WANTED TO SHOW THE MOVIES IN OUR DATABASE THAT STARRED WILLIAM POWELL.  NOT SURE WHEN WE WILL FINISH THIS PAGE BUT UNTIL THEN, WE FIGURED THERE WAS NO GOOD REASON NOT TO SHARE WHAT WE DO HAVE.  A QUICK LOOK AT POWELL’S CAREER AND IT LOOKS LIKE THEIR ARE ABOUT 15 MISSING POWELL MOVIES FROM 1931-1956.  SADLY, DUE TO LACK OF INFORMATON MANY OF POWELL’S SILENT FILMS WILL NEVER BE RANKED HERE.  WE CALL OUR WEBSITE ULTIMATE MOVIE RANKINGS BECAUSE WE TRY AND RANK EVERY MOVIE AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS MADE.  SINCE THIS IS ONLY A FEW OF POWELL’S MOVIES WE WILL JUST CALL THIS A WILLIAM POWELL MOVIE RANKING PAGE AND LEAVE OUT THE ULTIMATE!

SO FAITHFUL READER (AS KURT VONNEGUT WOULD WRITE) DO YOU THINK DOING THIS PARTIAL PAGE IS A GOOD IDEA OR DO YOU ONLY WANT A PAGE PUBLISHED WHEN ALL OF THE PERFORMER’S MOVIES ARE RESEARCHED?  COMPLETELY OFF THE SUBJECT…..OUR WEBSITE CROSSED 5 MILLION VIEWS LAST WEEKEND.  OUR PAGES ARE NOW READ IN 186 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND ALMOST 10,000 DIFFERENT CITIES.  THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT SUPPORT!

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24 thoughts on “William Powell Movies

  1. STEVE
    1 Bill Powell deserves credit along with King Gable for keeping Myrna Loy in a career during the classic era though I’m sure Myrna’s great friendship with the highly influential and kindly Joan Crawford at MGM also helped Myrna keep some bread and butter on the table.

    2 (1) You and Bruce agree on just two of the top five and as he did on Myrna’s page Bruce has included 2 Thin Man movies in William’s Top 5. I could never understand Bruce’s apparent fascination with all of them as for me the series whilst entertaining falls into the category of “once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all” (2) I liked the closing still of Bill and Myrna and the one from Life with Father but an absolute peach was William with Joan Crawford and Robert Montgomery in The Last of Mrs Cheyney. Crawford actually took over Loy’s part in that one as Myrna was assigned as Gable’s leading lady Parnell which Joan had turned down. (3) for me the pick of the fine posters were Lawyer Man, The Kennel Murder Case and Double Harness with Bill and Ann Harding. I wonder what happened to her? She must have been important enough at one point to get billed before Powell in your poster (4) Overall an excellent profile of great star William Powell who epitomised an era now long gone so 9.4/10.

    NOTE: Bill Powell’s final TOP starring role was curiously in a B movie WESTERN in 1952 The Treasure of the Lost Canyon which Bruce was unable to pick up in his table. IMDB gives it just a 62% rating but two Amazon customers’ reviews each give it 5 stars and comment “A surprising little gem. Where has it been hiding all these years? Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just another B movie.” It’s been over 60 years since I saw it so I can’t offer a personal comment on its merit.

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the review, rating and trivia, always appreciated. Had to laugh at your opening paragraph belittling ‘queen of the box office. Myrna Loy. Bruce and John will no doubt roll their eyes at that remark. Come on Bob give her some credit for drawing the crowds, was she that anonymous? Poor Myrna.

      Anyway glad you liked the posters and stills, I knew you’d like the Crawford photo.

      The Treasure of the Lost Canyon wasn’t even on my master list, Powell in a western is unusual, almost as unusual as Fred MacMurray wearing a toga in a historical film. 🙂

      John tells me that Freddy Mac did appear in a few westerns in the 50s, sadly none of them were on the video, low ratings. I wish I included one.

      1. STEVE
        1 If they had been making The Invisible Woman instead of The Invisible Man Myrna would have been an excellent choice for the lead.

        2 Fred was quite good in a group of passable westerns in the mid to late fifties. Here they are with the ratings of IMDB [UK !]
        1953/The Moonlighter 59% **
        1955/The Far Horizons 62% **
        1955/Gunpoint 63%
        1957/Gun for a Coward 60%
        1957/Quantez 63%
        1958/Day of the Badman 61%
        1959/Good Day for a Hanging 64%
        1959/Face of a Fugitive 66%
        1959/Oregon Trail 49%
        **In The Moonlighter Fred was teamed for the penultimate time with old sparring partner Barbara Stanwyck, in The Far Horizons he co-starred with Chuck and Fred was 1st billed, and in the other 7 Fred was the stand-alone star. Only the Chuck one was an A movie and over here at least the other 8 were on double bills usually on the 2nd half.

        1. Hey Bob…you can have your nickname for Loy…..but the “Greatest Box Office Actress of All-Time” is used to people trying to bring her down with the Crawfords, Davis, and de Havillands of the world.

          Good stats on Fred MacMurray in the 1950s….I remember have some difficulty in finding box office numbers for that time frame….as his career was really winding down…and fast……before Disney came and saved the day.

          Good comment and information as always.

        1. BOB “The highly influential and kindly Joan Crawford at MGM helped Myrna keep some bread and butter on the table.”

          BRUCE” Hey Steve—- Bob’s comments got me to do a Myrna Loy Vs Joan Crawford page —and the stats do not look good for Joan—”

          RUFUS RYKER “We can get him to draw anytime.”

          1. Hey Bob…..that was nice of Joan….plus it let her get close to Loy….with hopes that some of that box office magic might rub off on Joan…lol.

            The Trump/Streep flare up got me thinking off doing the Trump vs Streep page……but when I did the table it did not look too impressive…..so I thought Joan vs Bette should be a good one….and when that turned out good….I thought Astaire vs Kelly…..after doing those three tables…I could not resist doing a Joan vs Myrna page…..hope you like it….lol.

            🙂

        2. Yep you had your revenge on Bob, Myrna reigns supreme.

          Btw the comment links seem to be working today, they are taking me directly to the new comments and not to the first page of comments. I was getting lost searching for new comments that weren’t at the top. I hope it still works tomorrow.

          1. Hey Steve. Wow….I did not realize the comment link was working again….I wish I could say it was something I did to fix….but somehow it fixed it self….I updated a few widgets this morning….but the comment one was not one of those….maybe another widget broke this originally and now they have fixed it.

            As for Loy and Crawford…..the are both all time greats.

          2. Cheers Bruce, the comment links are still working. Nice. It makes life easier when a link takes you directly to the comment instead of my digging around for it.

            I remember John replied to an old comment a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to read it but just couldn’t find it and eventually I gave up. Sorry John. 🙂

          3. Hey Steve….I agree 100%…..when the comment link is not working it is very frustrating to find some of these comments….hopefully whatever went wrong will stay fixed. So of the comments that have multiple responses very difficult to find….I am sure John will forgive you. 🙂

    2. Hey Bob…good comments on Steve’s William Powell video and our William Powell page. As for my fascination on The Thin Man series…I like the movies….but I agree they are one and done movies….though I guess I have seen After The Thin Man a couple of times. My rankings have little to do with “my personal” feelings….I just plug in the numbers…..and away I go….pretty much….the first time I look at my rankings is after I have written everything….have hit publish….and then I am looking for massive errors that I might have made.

      I have not seen The Last of Mrs. Cheyney…..but it sounds like one worth checking out. I can see Gable pushing to get Loy of the movie so he could star with Loy….she is…as you know….”the greatest box office actress of all-time”…lol.

      Interesting about Treasure of the Lost Canyon…..it might make my updated Powell page…..as I know I have seen found 8 more Powell box office since doing this page….plus I have way more sources now…..I just realized the other day that William Powell was not on my $100 Million Box Office Hits page….but he is now…..oh boy….yet another page to update.

  2. William Powell appeared in 6 color movies. His first color movie Ziegfeld Follies (as an angelic Ziegfeld) in 1945. He appeared in some good ones, in Life with Father, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Mister Roberts.

    1. Mister Roberts is my favorite of the color movies you mentioned…..he picked a fine movie to be his last one. 6 color and 30 black and white….or 16.66% to 83.34%. That is of course the only movies listed in this page…..I am sure the actually % would be around 5% to 95%. Thanks for sharing this William Powell information. When I update this page…I am sure the 36 movies listed will be in the 50s…as I have already found 10 more Powell movie box office numbers since first writing this page.

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