Don't Look Behind You
b a c k
NBC, 11/19/1971 or 11/11/1971
Executive producer: Edward
Director: Barry Shear
Screenplay from EQ-novel: Ted Leighton
Music: Jerry Fielding
EQ: Peter Lawford
Inspector Queen: Harry Morgan
Dr. Edward Cazalis: E.G. Marshall
Mrs. Cazalis: Coleen Gray
Celeste Phillips: Stephanie Powers
Police Commissioner: Morgan Sterne,
Christy: Skye Aubrey
Queen remained off the home screen for
thirteen years. Universal Pictures prepared a 2 hour pilot for a new
series. The pilot never became a series because it was aced out by Rock
Hudson's new show, McMillan and Wife. Both were vying to join
the NBC Mystery Theater which also featured McCloud
Originally announced as Catch me if you can this
easily forgettable murder mystery has famed detective taking over police-baffling Hydra
case. Relationship between Lawford and Morgan starts out well but disappears as film
E.G. Marshall plays a consulting psychiatrist who has
an agenda himself and Coleen Gray his wife.
Stefanie Powers is wasted as a
suspect that gets involved with Ellery.
The casting of Ellery is preposterous: Lawford plays him as an
over aged, mod
"Swinging London" hipster. Harry Morgan, well-suited as the long-suffering
Dad, has been rewritten as a long-suffering uncle. Thus resolving the
difference in accents & age between the two actors.
Edward J. Montagne, executive producer, said this about his choice of
actors: "I had to go to a slightly older man for Queen, because young
actors just don't play well in that role. Well, Lawford is too old to have a
father in the police department."
So, for this television rendering of Queen, he had an uncle on the force
instead of father. The famous sleuth may also be a little flashier than most
fans remember him.
"He's a bon vivant, an attractive man. He lives in a smart apartment
with a lot of girls around."
The plot structure of
Many Tails is present here,
of the story's subtleties and insights are
It didn't help that the connection between the crimes, although clever, was
revealed halfway through the movie. Since there are only two viable
suspects, one of which is much too obvious, it doesn't take deduction to
figure out the killer’s identity.
The script was written by Richard Levinson and William Link.
They changed the billing to "Ted Leighton" because they disapproved of changes made
while they were vacationing in Europe.
Above: Production stills from
Ellery Queen, Don't Look
with director Barry Shear, Stephanie Powers and Peter Lawford.