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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frederic Dannay (novel) and
Manfred Lee (novel) ...
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Release Date:
9 October 1935 (USA) See more »
ELLERY QUEEN'S STRANGEST CASE! (original ad - all caps)
Detective Ellery Queen's vacation is interrupted when murder strikes next door to his oceanside cabin. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
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First attempt at playing Ellery Queen in film See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)

Donald Cook ... Ellery Queen

Helen Twelvetrees ... Stella Godfrey

Berton Churchill ... Judge Macklin

Frank Sheridan ... Walter Godfrey
Harry Stubbs ... Sheriff Moley
Guy Usher ... Inspector Queen

Huntley Gordon ... David Kummer

Jack La Rue ... Gardner

Betty Blythe ... Mrs. Godfrey
Olaf Hytten ... DuPre

Ruth Gillette ... Laura Constable
Frank Leigh ... Teller

Barbara Bedford ... Mrs. Munn
George Baxter ... John Marco
Katherine Morrow ... Pitts

Arnold Gray ... Leslie Court
Donald Kerr ... Hendricks
Lee Prather ... Officer Hunt

George Cleveland ... Jorum
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Arthur Aylesworth ... George Munn (uncredited)

Richard Cramer ... Gunman (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Detective (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis D. Collins 
Writing credits
Frederic Dannay (novel) (as Ellery Queen) and
Manfred Lee (novel) (as Ellery Queen)

Albert DeMond (screenplay)

Produced by
M.H. Hoffman .... producer
Cinematography by
Gilbert Warrenton 
Film Editing by
Ernie Leadlay 
Production Management
Rudolph C. Flothow .... production manager
Sound Department
Hal Bumbaugh .... sound recordist
Eddie Parker .... stunt double (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lettie Lee .... gown supervisor
Music Department
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
UK:73 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #1167)

Did You Know?

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
First attempt at playing Ellery Queen in film, 17 April 2014
Author: 39-0-13 from United States

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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