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 »
Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.
When allied troops liberate a small battle-scarred Belgium town in 1944 the American and British commanders do all they can to help the war-weary people back on their feet. There are mental... See full summary »
Herbert J. Biberman
A street kid interrupts Nero Wolfe's dinner with his eyewitness account of a kidnapping. The next day, the boy is dead and his mother comes to the detective with her son's meager savings and dying wish to hire Wolfe to solve his murder.
The short-lived adventures of portly detective Nero Wolfe, who would rather eat and tend to his orchids than hit the streets tracking down leads. That's why he hired hunky Archie Goodwin, ... See full summary »
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 »
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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