The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, ... See full summary »
The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery, works on the case. He goes to a home frequently visited by Dr. Rogers where the bell is answered by Nikki Porter who Ellery mistakes for Barbara and insists she return to the Braun home. Nikki does, to protect Barbara, and a short time later finds herself alone in a room outside Braun's bedroom. She finds him dead - his throat cut. No weapons are found and the door to the room where Nikki had been is locked, and she is suspected. Ellery hides Nikki in his apartment. Braun's body, sent for an autopsy, disappears and in its place is a life-sized statue of the dead man. Elley finds the body in a closet, the police prepare to send it downtown but someone drives off with the ambulance. Ellery, ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Film Daily - Hollywood - Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1940: Producer Larry Darmour has closed on the film rights to more than 30 "Ellery Queen" mystery novels and the weekly transcontinental radio broadcasts. He has exclusive picture rights for three years and will make two or three pictures a year, possibly for distribution by Columbia Pictures Corporation. See more »
Fans of Ellery Queen had to feel quite a bit better with what Ralph Bellamy did with this and successive Ellery Queen movies. Ellery Queen, Master Detective has Ralph Bellamy both shielding a suspect and trying to find the evidence that will clear the woman he's shielding.
The one whom Bellamy is shielding is Margaret Lindsay who would turn up in a few subsequent Ellery Queen features as his girl Friday. She's a friend of the daughter of the deceased and Lindsay resemblance to Marsha Hunt causes her and Bellamy a lot of grief.
Silent film classic director Fred Niblo plays the deceased, a kind of Charles Atlas who is a physical fitness guru. His doctor and prospective son-in-law Michael Whalen has diagnosed him with an incurable disease and faced with the prospective of a long and lingering death, Niblo kills himself. But the weapon and a new will he made out are missing. And Lindsay was the last one to see him.
As it turns out the events surrounding the crime can all be explained as they eventually are by natural causes. Except for the fact that Niblo's body is stolen twice from the hands of coroner Charles Lane. Someone had a real good reason for not wanting an autopsy.
Bellamy was quite an improvement over Donald Cook and Eddie Quillan who played the mystery writer/sleuth before. Charley Grapewin settled nicely into the role of his patient, but somewhat harassed father Inspector Queen of NYPD homicide. I think you'll find this an interesting film for the performances and for the fact the solution is a somewhat unusual one.
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