5.3/10
238
20 user 3 critic

The Mandarin Mystery (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 23 December 1936 (USA)
Two murders are committed and a $50,000 Chinese Mandarin stamp is stolen, tossed around and eventually recovered as an aggregation of costly-stamp counterfeiters are uncovered through the mastermind investigation by Ellery Queen.

Director:

Writers:

(story, 'The Chinese Orange Mystery') (as Ellery Queen), (story, 'The Chinese Orange Mystery') (as Ellery Queen) | 4 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A famous detective is invited to a swanky party at an elegant mansion, but before the night is over he finds himself involved with gangsters, blackmail and murder.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: John Miljan, Irene Ware, Iris Adrian
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A private detective finds himself with a perfect new secretary. But after a notorious gossip columnist turns up murdered, she may prove too good to be true.

Director: Philip Ford
Stars: Adele Mara, Warren Douglas, William Frawley
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A paroled prisoner hits a man attacking a woman. He runs away scared that he may have killed him - he did not. From a book "Woman in the Dar" by Dashiell Hammett.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Fay Wray, Ralph Bellamy, Melvyn Douglas
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Detective tries to solve the murder of antiques collector who was in possession of a famous jewel known as "The Eye of the Daugther of The Moon."

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Dorothy Tree
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Elvey
Stars: Ivor Novello, Elizabeth Allan, A.W. Baskcomb
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Madge Evans, John Boles, Bruce Cabot
Inner Sanctum (1948)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man fleeing the police after having committed a murder hides out in a boarding house in a small town.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Charles Russell, Mary Beth Hughes, Dale Belding
The Capture (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A badly injured fugitive explains to a priest how he came to be in his present predicament.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young married couple whose plans for their life together haven't turned out as expected decide to rob the bank where the husband works of $100,000, then hide the money in a safe place and... See full summary »

Director: James Cruze
Stars: Richard Cromwell, Helen Mack, Lionel Atwill
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.

Director: Steve Sekely
Stars: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man dreams he committed murder, then begins to suspect it was real.

Director: Maxwell Shane
Stars: Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran
Drama | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A movie producer offers a nightclub singer a role in his latest film, but all he really wants to do is bed her. She knows, but accepts anyway. Meanwhile, a patron at the club gets a note ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Micheaux
Stars: Lawrence Chenault, A.B. DeComathiere, Laura Bowman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Josephine Temple
Rita La Roy ...
Martha Kirk
Wade Boteler ...
...
Mellish
...
Dr. Alexander Kirk
...
Irene Kirk
William Newell ...
Detective Guffy
George Walcott ...
Donald Trent
Edwin Stanley ...
Howard Bronson
Edgar Allen ...
Newspaper Reporter
Walter Merrill ...
Craig the Thief (as Anthony Merrill)
Richard Beach ...
Reporter
Monte Vandergrift ...
Detective (as Monte Vandegrift)
Grace Durkin ...
Girl on Street Corner
Edit

Storyline

A very rare and priceless Chinese postage stamp is stole as its thief claims two victims in a hotel,, both of whom are murdered in inexplicably locked rooms. Young Ellery romances the stamps beautiful owner, Josephie Temple, while working with his father, Inspector Queen to solve the baffling case and expose the killer. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Chinese Orange Mystery  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Mandarian Mystery was based on "The Chinese Orange Mystery" by Ellery Queen. See more »

Quotes

Mellish: Something mysterious is going on here! That man's dead!
Detective Guffy: Don't jump at conclusions.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Eddie Quillan is charming as Ellery Queen, but the film does not resemble the source novel
14 December 2004 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

The literary work on which this film was based--THE Chinese ORANGE MYSTERY--is a locked-room murder mystery that is light on characterization but heavy on the puzzle aspect of the murder, where no one knows who the victim is, the victim's clothes have all been turned inside out, and everything in the murder room has been turned backward. To do a faithful film adaptation of the book would probably be difficult, especially for a 55-minute b-movie which needs to be fast-moving and witty. In the Ellery Queen film made the year before, THE Spanish CAPE MYSTERY, which was an OK film, the filmmakers basically streamlined the plot, but were unable to give much depth or interest to any of the characters (other than Ellery and Inspector Queen). THE MANDARIN MYSTERY takes elements of the book THE Chinese ORANGE MYSTERY--a rare stamp, a murder in a locked room, some of the character names--and basically creates a new story around them. I had just re-read the novel before seeing this film, but they have little in common. If you can forget the book and just treat the film as an entity of its own, it's not that bad. Eddie Quillan is a charming screen presence, and he tries to restrain his comic mugging somewhat, but the script does not allow him to show much analytical prowess, and he spends far more effort romantically chasing the girl who is the main suspect than he does working on the crime. Wade Boteler plays Inspector Queen well--professional, but with a warm heart--and he and Ellery do show glimpses of the rapport they have in the books (and in the Jim Hutton/David Wayne TV series). On the whole, though, this film is an average 30s murder mystery, played with a light touch by a charming comic actor, but it has little to do with either the novel on which it was supposedly based or with the Ellery Queen series in general.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Mandarin Mystery (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?