New York detective Ellery Queen travels to the California coast with his friend Judge Macklin for a vacation at a rented cabin. But they don't even have a chance to unpack before they become swept up in a kidnapping and murders involving the Godfrey family who live in the Spanish Cape estate nearby. As bodies drop as often as the tides, and the local police suspect everyone in the Godfrey family, Ellery comes to the rescue and solves the crimes while romancing the family's beautiful daughter Stella. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Early in the picture, the Judge notes that Queen is not a smoker, which he confirms. However, at dinner he offers Stella a cigarette from a cigarette case, and later in the picture lights up another smoke. See more »
Little read today, Ellery Queen mysteries were highly popular in their day. In this outing, Donald Cook plays Ellery Queen. While he is suave enough and occasionally shows a spark of humor, Cook lacks the pizazz of other B mystery series detectives, (such as Warren William, Chester Morris, George Sanders, or Tom Conway) which is probably why it didn't become a series with Cook as the lead (a few years later, Ralph Bellamy starred as Ellery Queen in a series of movies). The plot is typical of many 30s mysteries a big house filled with odious relatives and guests with murder after murder happening and the survivors continuing to stay in the house. And it has the young pert ingénue as well as the dumb loud-mouthed police chief flitting from one suspect to another with each suspect then cleared by the detective. Queen traps the killer and all the loose ends are nicely tidied up. There are a few notable character portrayals such as Berton Churchill and the always humorous Ed Gargan. It was kinda cool seeing George Cleveland in a small role to me, he will always be Gramps in the Lassie television show. This movie is mildly enjoyable and worth a watch, but it is not a top notch mystery even for a B movie.
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