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The Mandarin Mystery (1936)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 201 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

Legendary detective Ellery Queen sets out to solve a mystery involving an extremely valuable stamp.



(story), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Mandarin Mystery (1936)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Quillan ...
Charlotte Henry ...
Josephine Temple
Rita La Roy ...
Martha Kirk
Wade Boteler ...
Inspector Queen
Franklin Pangborn ...
Dr. Alexander Kirk
Kay Hughes ...
Irene Kirk
William Newell ...
Detective Guffy
George Walcott ...
Donald Trent
Edwin Stanley ...
Howard Bronson
Edgar Allen ...
Bert Roach
Richard Beach ...
Monte Vandergrift ...
Detective (as Monte Vandegrift)
Grace Durkin ...
Girl on Street Corner


Legendary detective Ellery Queen sets out to solve a mystery involving an extremely valuable stamp.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stamp | detective | reporter


Comedy | Mystery






Release Date:

23 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Chinese Orange Mystery  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Quillian's Quirky Queen
29 February 2008 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

The Mandarin Mystery is what happens when you take a fairly standard locked room mystery, add a little too much romance, and season the mix with an ample supply of humor. Eddie Quillian brings a lot to the role and really makes it his own, despite the fact that his take on Queen is somewhat different from the usual character we are so used to seeing. Quillian's just as bright, not as serious, and apparently has the libido of a teenage boy.

Queen spends as much time pursuing the lovely victim of a theft which appears connected to the murder (Charlotte Temple) as he does the murderer and thieves, and a long deductive chain is compressed into a pithy film with an economical script. The acting talent is somewhat uneven. Ms Temple gives a sub-par performance, Quillian is excellent, and Wade Boteler as the senior inspector Queen does well doubling as Ellery's straight man and a gruff old no-nonsense cop.

Although made in 1936, The Mandarin Mystery's story, pace, camera work, themes, and sets have the feel of a late 1950s TV mystery show.

Because of the way the original novel was adapted, the logic of the deduction which leads to the resolution of the case is not as clearly spelled out as it could have been. Nevertheless, the film will interest mystery fans who enjoy the hardcore analytical aspects of detective work as depicted in traditional mystery novels (Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle fans for example), and, of course, Ellery Queen aficionados.

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