Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen
Source: Radio play "The Good Samaritan" 06-09-40 (EQ)
Before this movie could enter production, Larry Darmour died. His widow, Alice Darmour, announced that she intended to carry the two Ellery Queen films scheduled that year. Gargan's second shot as Queen is no better than the first. This entry in the series follows Queen as he investigates the case of a woman's missing husband, a banker. Together with Nikki, Ellery travels to San Francisco to check out the man, thought dead, who is seen alive. Before long, someone is dead, and that's about as surprising as this film gets. Lilian Bond as a burlesque queen is the only lively thing in this entry.
Desperate chance for Ellery Queen was at best a routine picture. Although Dannay in his last decade condemned the Gargan films as much as those with Bellamy, at the time he and Lee were quite pleased with the series and even wanted the number of annual entries increased from three to four. Columbia balked at this demand and, following the two entries still to be filmed in 1942, closed down production all together, replacing the series with the Crime Doctor. For pretty much the same reason as Nikki was introduced in the Queen-series it also featured Margaret Lindsay. This venture did become a success, but Lindsay's contract came up for renewal and it was decided to drop her.
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