Jim Carter moves in on the McWade's carnival concession which shows scenes from Dante's "Inferno". He makes it a going concern, marrying Betty along the way. An inspector calls the ... See full summary »
Henry B. Walthall
It's 1850 and California has just become part of the United States. But there is trouble between the Americans and the Mexicans and John Carrol has been sent to try and bring law and order.... See full summary »
Undercover agent Mark Owens is sent to aid the Border Patrol in the trans-border town of Hernandez in breaking up a well-organized band of smugglers. Since the town is also noted for a ... See full summary »
Charles C. Coleman
Withers is an immigrant who learns on arrival in the U.S. that her mother is dead. Friends help her survive as an entertainer, and success is a good argument against the immigration ... See full summary »
New York girl has a dull boyfriend and seems destined for a dull marriage when she meets a rich playboy who has money to burn and places to go. She gets involved with the playboy and never ... See full summary »
Government undercover agents William Dennis and Joan Barclay are working to solve the disappearances of girls working as "taxi-dancers" from dance halls operated by Jack Miranda and his ... See full summary »
The portly detective solves a bizarre murder on a golf course.
While this first Nero Wolfe film seems well-intentioned, it's really of interest only as an historical curiosity. Edward Arnold, one of the great character actors of all time, looks pretty good as the portly Wolfe, but his portrayal of the detective is way off base. Rex Stout created Wolfe as an irascible, egotistical, curmudgeonly man who quaffs beer endlessly from a glass. Arnold portrays him as a jolly, laughing, hale-fellow-well-met who drinks beer directly from the bottle -- something that Wolfe did very rarely.
Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's amanuensis, legman, and sometime tormentor, is supposed to be a tough, smart, courageous detective in his own right. Lionel Stander, also a fine actor when properly cast and directed, turns Goodwin into a clown.
The plot moves rapidly. Too rapidly, in fact, for the charm of the Nero Wolfe mysteries lies largely in the atmospheric familiarity of their milieu. They are written as if they were stately waltzes, and this films zips by like a two-minute jazz riff.
Of all the adaptations of the Nero Wolfe stories, from the Sydney Greenstreet radio version of the 1940's to the lovingly produced A&E network productions almost sixty years later, the nod must be given to the A&E version, and to Maury Chaykin's portrayal of Nero Wolfe.
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