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MOVIES LIST 1941-1979

Click on the poster to see the full article.Shadow of the Thin Man  US (1941)

Director: W.S. Van Dyke II
Cast includes:
Nick Charles: William Powell
Nora Charles: Myrna Loy
Lt. Abrams: Sam Levene
Paul Clarke: Barry Nelson
Molly Ford: Donna Reed


97 min, Black & White

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.

A Close Call for Ellery Queen US (1942)Click on the poster to see the full article.

Director: James Hogan
Cast Includes
EQ: William Gargan

Inspector Queen: Charley Grapewin

Nikki Porter: Margaret Lindsay

Sgt. Velie: James Burke
 
Alan Rogers: Ralph Morgan
Margo Rogers: Kay Linaker
Edward Norris, Addison Richards

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

A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen US (1942)

Click on the poster to see the full article.Director: James Hogan
Cast Includes
EQ: William Gargan
Inspector Queen: Charley Grapewin

Nikki Porter: Margaret Lindsay

Sgt. Velie: James Burke
 
Norman Hadley: John Litel
Adele Belden: Lilian Bond
Ray Stafford: Morgan Conway
Mrs. Norman Hadley: Charlotte Wynters
Jack LaRue

 Source: Radio play "The Good Samaritan" 06-09-40 (EQ)
 70 min,  Black & White

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.

Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen US (1942)

Click on the poster to see the full article.Director: James Hogan
Cast Includes
EQ: William Gargan
Inspector Queen: Charley Grapewin
Nikki Porter: Margaret Lindsay

Sgt. Velie: James Burke
Mrs. Van Dom: Gale Sondergaard
Paul Gilette: Gilbert Roland
Heinrich: Sig Rumann
Commissioner Bracken: John Hamilton
Reece: Ludwig Donath
Morse: Ernst Doetsch

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.

A Study in Terror 
                 
aka
The Fog (1965) Click on the poster to see the full article.

Written, directed and produced by James Hill
Executive producers: Henry E. Lester and Herman Cohen
Screenwriter: Frederic Dannay (Donald Ford), Derek Ford (1933-1995)
Cinematography: Desmond Dickinson
Editing: Henry Richardson
Music: John Scott
Cast Includes
Sherlock Holmes: John Neville
Mycroft Holmes: Robert Morley

Dr.Watson: Donald Houston 


In 'A Study in Terror' the ever popular Sherlock Holmes, his brother Mycroft and his companion Dr.Watson search for the Victorian serial killer. A well-made and exciting mystery produced, written and directed by James Hill. The 'Holmes' story of the movie was rewritten by Paul W. Fairman and then Ellery Queen added a second solution! 

La Decade Prodigieuse
               
aka Ten Days' Wonder Italy- France (1972)

Click on the poster to see the full article.Director: Claude Chabrol
Produced by Films La Boetie; Parafrance
Screenwriter: Paul Gégauff, Paul Gardner, Eugene Archer
Cinematographer: Jean Rabier
Editor: Jacques Gaillard
Cast Includes
Theodore Van Horn: Orson Welles
Helen Van Horn: Marlene Jobert
Paul Regis: Michel Piccoli
Charles Van Horn: Anthony Perkins
Guido Alberti

Source: novel "Ten Days' Wonder"
105 min,  Color.

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.

Haitatsu Sarenai Santsu no Tegami
                                                (Haitatsu sarenai San Toori no Tegami)
                 aka The Three Undelivered Letters Japan (1979)

Director: Yoshitaro Nomura
Writing credits: Kaneto Shindou based on a novel by Ellery Queen 
Cinematography: Takashi Kawamata 
Art direction/Production design: Morita Sato Taira 
Music: Yasushi Akutagawa 
Cast: Shin Saburi, Nobuko Otowa, Mayumi Ogawa, Komaki Kurihara, Keiko Matsuzaka, Kanzaki Ai , Keiko Takeshita, Kataoka Takao, Hikime Ryou, Tosinobu Sawake, Tsunehiko Watase 

Source novel: "Calamity Town"
130 min

The film was based on the EQ-novel (Galbraith, Stuart. The 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. At 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.

In 1979
Fred Dannay made the trip to Tokyo to attend the premiere of the movie and was received with all the regards he deserved.

 

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