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 overview, first billed only:
Sarah Dacos
Mrs. Rachael Bruner
Fritz Benner
Sarah Cunningham ...
Mrs. Althaus
Lewis Charles ...
Frank Campanella ...
Fred Durkin
John Gerstad ...
Dr. Vollmer
FBI Chief Rugby


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


Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is a reference to Sherlock Holmes and a possible relation to Nero Wolfe even to the point of an oil portrait of. Basil Railhbone as Sherlock hanging on the wall. See more »


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


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 »


Spin-off Nero Wolfe (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Thayer David's best
24 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Many Nero Wolfe and Rex Stout purists think that this is the very best adaptation of a Wolfe story. Thayer David was hidden behind many a plant and other obstructions purportedly because he was very ill at the time suffering from cancer (as told to me by Rex Stout biographer and Edgar Winner John McAleer) and the same people thought that the casting of Archie Goodwin by Tom Mason was too young. I personally find him to be the best of the Archies despite his youth (25 at the time, I am told.) It is based on "The Doorbell Rang Twice" I am told. Anyone who can tell me otherwise is fine with me.

Still, the production overall is as good as it gets and I liked Thayer David's look and tone. I especially liked the Sherlock Holmes references since I am a true Sherlockian, and the fact that the portrait of Holmes is made to look much like Basil Rathbone, one of my favorite purveyors of the role. I prefer David to Maury Chaykin who's demeanor just misses for me. It is only a shame that Orson Welles never got to play the corpulent detective, or Raymond Burr for that matter. (Both were scheduled to play the part in productions that never saw fruition, unfortunately. There was even talk of John Ritter or Bill Cosby playing Archie, his man Friday, and I am glad that neither got to do THAT role.) Anyway, if you wanted to know what the book series was all about before reading Mr. Stout's excellent page turners, this is the best example yet.

It looked like a labor of love for all concerned and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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