MOVIES LIST 1941-1979
hadow of the Thin Man
Director: W.S. Van Dyke II
Not an EQ film in any sense, however it makes our list because Dannay and Lee worked on the script. They didn't do enough to warrant screen credit, but we think we've spotted their contribution to the story: the scene where Nick finds a gun in a drain: pure EQ logic! The flippant nature of Shadow of the Thin Man can be attributed to screenwriters Irving Brecher and Harry Kurnitz, both longtime friends and associates of comedian Groucho Marx. (Click on the poster to read more...)
60 min, Black & White.
William Gargan takes over from Ralph Bellamy as the title character. He lacked Bellamy's charisma but unlike Bellamy, who played the role of Ellery Queen for laughs, Gargan adopts a more sober approach, much to the overall benefit of the film. The budgets were getting even thinner, but it was definitely a step up from the Murder Ring atrocity. (Click on the poster to read more...)
Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen US (1942)
Director: James Hogan
Source: Radio play "The Good Samaritan" 06-09-40
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. (Click on the poster to read more...)
64 min, Color
Columbia's Ellery Queen series called it quits with this timely 1942 entry Ellery's secretary Nikki Porter ending up in the Nazi's clutches at one juncture. Boasting a formidable lineup of "heavies" (Gale Sondergaard, Sig Ruman, et. al.), easily the best of the undistinguished series. This isn't even a mystery plot per se, and the title gives away most of the story! Still, the guest cast is full of entertaining character actors who give delightfully hammy performances and it's a fast 64 minutes. (Click on the poster to read more...)
Study in Terror
aka he Fog (1965)
Written, directed and produced by James
Ten Days' Wonder
Often fascinating to watch, possibly the weirdest EQ adaptation of all, this one wrenches the tale out of Wrightsville and into French wine country. Ellery is replaced by "Paul Regis" but otherwise the plot of the book is fairly well duplicated (with one or two significant alterations that are not beneficial) but the many obscurities and the atrocious dubbing make this a disastrous farewell to the big screen. (Click on the poster to read more...)
Director: Yoshitaro Nomura
Source novel: Calamity Town
The film was based on the EQ-novel (Galbraith,
Japanese Filmography, 1996).
Mistumasa Karasawa, a wealthy banker in Hagi, has
3 beautiful daughters: Reiko, Noriko, Keiko. Noriko was
engaged to be married to a worker in her father's bank: Fujisawa.
However shortly before the wedding
he disappeared for no apparent reason. 3
years later, he returns. While
Karasawa is still angry with him,
Noriko, after a depression, seems very happy with
his return. Eventually they get married.
this point Robert, a Japanese American, comes
to stay with his uncle Karasawa to study in Japan.
Also Fujisawa's sister comes
to Karasawa's house to stay over and Robert and
Noriko accidentally find 3 letters in Fujisawa's room
they discover three letters addressed to Fujimura's sister
about the death of his wife. Subsequently the sister dies and investigations begin.