A wealthy realtor sends out dozens of copies of a book that paints the FBI in an unfavorable light. They harass her. So she turns to Nero Wolfe to get them off her back.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tom Mason ...
...
Sarah Dacos
...
...
...
Mrs. Rachael Bruner
...
Fritz Benner
...
Sarah Cunningham ...
Mrs. Althaus
Lewis Charles ...
Frank Campanella ...
Fred Durkin
John Gerstad ...
Dr. Vollmer
...
Hewitt
Ivor Francis ...
Evers
Allen Case ...
FBI Chief Rugby
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Storyline

A wealthy realtor sends out dozens of copies of a book that paints the FBI in an unfavorable light. They harass her. So she turns to Nero Wolfe to get them off her back.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 1977 as a series pilot, it was put on the shelf for two years. In the interim its star, Thayer David, died. The film finally aired December 18, 1979, as a midnight movie. See more »

Goofs

The David Lewis in this episode is David Lewis (III) See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Rachael Bruner: I'd heard that Nero Wolfe wasn't afraid of anything.
Nero Wolfe: One can retreat from folly without backing into fear.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Nero Wolfe (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the better adaptations
6 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Good casting (although Thayer is 'way too thin), good chemistry and decent production values yield an enjoyable ninety minutes. The plot, in a nutshell: a wealthy woman, harassed by the FBI, hires Wolfe to get them off her back. His chance to earn his $100,000 fee improves when he learns that three agents may have been involved in the murder of a reporter who was working on a story about the Bureau.

As is often the case with Wolfe stories, the real interest lies in the characters -- Wolfe's methods and Archie's charm -- and the mystery itself, while it hold up, is almost incidental. The book from which it was adapted, "The Doorbell Rang" (1965), is generally considered the best of the Wolfe books.

This made-for-TV film was reportedly a pilot; a series never resulted but four years later NBC presented William Conrad as the first (and, one hopes, the only) bearded Nero Wolfe. Conrad had a remarkable career in radio and TV, but he was miscast and the show lasted fourteen episodes. A&E reran those some years ago, but when was the last time anyone showed this film? If it was ever released commercially, I couldn't find a trace of it.


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