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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dennie Moore ...
Mazie Gray
...
Claude Roberts
Nana Bryant ...
Sarah Barstow
Joan Perry ...
Ellen Barstow
Russell Hardie ...
Manuel Kimball
Walter Kingsford ...
Emanuel Jeremiah (E.J.) Kimball
Boyd Irwin ...
Prof. Edgar Barstow
...
Olaf
Gene Morgan ...
Det. Lt. O'Grady
...
Maria Maringola (as Rita Cansino)
Frank Conroy ...
Dr. Nathaniel Bradford
Juan Torena ...
Carlo Maringola
Martha Tibbetts ...
The Apartment House Maid
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Storyline

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Genres:

Mystery

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

17 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fer-de-Lance  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film Rita Hayworth made for Columbia Pictures Corporation. See more »

Connections

Featured in Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

The portly detective solves a bizarre murder on a golf course.
16 April 2001 | by (California) – See all my reviews

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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