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A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942)

 -  Mystery  -  7 May 1942 (USA)
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Title: A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942)

A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Cast overview:
William Gargan ...
Norman Hadley
Insp. Queen
James Burke ...
Frank M. Thomas ...
Capt. H.T. Daley (as Frank Thomas)
Lilian Bond ...
Adele Belden
Morgan Conway ...
Ray Stafford
Jack La Rue ...
Tommy Gould
Noel Madison ...
George Belden
Charlotte Wynters ...
Mrs. Irene Evington Hadley


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Ellery Queen untangles a web of mystery!







Release Date:

7 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Desperate Chance  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

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User Reviews

Stealing Hot Money
17 June 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Two investigations involving stealing a large sum of money from a banking house end up in San Francisco where the suspected John Litel has fled and the real thief Noel Madison winds up murdered. Both Inspector Queen and Ellery are serving different clients, but both want to see justice done.

Noel Madison was smart enough to frame Litel, but dumb enough to marry gold digging nightclub singer Lillian Bond who is the outstanding player in the cast. She goes west to, to work for club owner Morgan Conway and locate her husband the dough he was carrying.

There was something else that Madison did wrong. He took money with consecutive serial numbers, easily traced and hot. That's the crux of the whole story, he or whomever winds up with the loot, needs a really good fence.

Ellery Queen's client is Litel's wife Charlotte Wynters who retains William Gargan on a missing persons case. On the other hand Gargan's father Charley Grapewin is looking for robbery suspect and ends up with sidekick James Burke helping the SFPD on Madison's murder.

Helping Gargan of course is Margaret Lindsay and she's certainly more fun to be around than Burke is.

This was one of the best Ellery Queen films going even though it's not anywhere near the Ellery Queen in the novels. It's also not terribly mysterious as we know pretty well who the culprit will be. But it has an action climax and shooting you normally see in westerns.

And it has Arthur Q. Bryan who was the voice of Elmer Fudd over at Warner Brothers. Harry Cohn must have forked over some bucks to not just get Bryan's services, but Elmer's voice as well. You hate to think of anyone talking that way in weal life. He has a scene with a friend in the nightclub where Bond clips the poor schnook as easily as Bugs Bunny ever did. Worth seeing the film for that alone.

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