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The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935)

Passed | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 9 October 1935 (USA)
Detective Ellery Queen's vacation is interrupted when murder strikes next door to his oceanside cabin.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Ellery Queen), (novel) (as Ellery Queen) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Cook ...
...
...
Judge Macklin
Frank Sheridan ...
Walter Godfrey
Harry Stubbs ...
Sheriff Moley
Guy Usher ...
Huntley Gordon ...
David Kummer
...
Gardner
...
Mrs. Godfrey
Olaf Hytten ...
DuPre
Ruth Gillette ...
Laura Constable
Frank Leigh ...
Teller
...
Mrs. Munn
George Baxter ...
John Marco
Katherine Morrow ...
Pitts
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Storyline

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 <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ELLERY QUEEN'S STRANGEST CASE! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mistério da Capa Espanhola  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

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User Reviews

 
First attempt at playing Ellery Queen in film
17 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Donald Woods plays the detective in this film. He has the distinction of being among the few actors to portray at least two fictional sleuths on film or on TV. Woods played Perry Mason in 1937 in the movies, and Craig Kennedy in 1952 on TV. Hollywood sees certain actors playing detectives and casts them in roles that may seem at odds with the character known in books. Warren William as Perry Mason, Philo Vance, and Sam Spade; Wm Powell as Philo Vance and Nick Charles (The Thin Man). Bogart as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. The fictional Ellery Queen is a hard role to cast since the character in the books by Dannay and Lee changes over time as the series proceeds over nearly 40 years. The first several books which feature the word "mystery," a derivative of a country, and a common noun ("Dutch Shoe," "Greek Coffin," "French Powder," etc.) feature a detective as esthete, erudite and epicene as Philo Vance and Peter Wimsey. Then EQ is "humanized" and becomes more of a regular guy, but along the way he becomes faceless and without much character. He loses his pince-nez glasses and no longer drives a Duesenberg. He becomes just a problem solver with less than compelling personal problems. So he is then a mere great mind who can be played by any actor, and as time has gone on he has been -- Ralph Bellamy, Lee Bowman, Hugh Marlowe, George Nader, Jim Hutton, and whoever. None of these actors had the distinct personality to create a character on screen like Suchet did with Poirot or Brett with Sherlock. Cumberbatch as Sherlock, too. So Woods is a cipher as a character and as Ellery Queen. The most interesting thing about this oh-hum movie is wondering why Helen Twelvetrees didn't make better movies.


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