2 user

The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974)



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

James at 16 (1977–1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

James, a daydreamer and photographer, must learn to cope with life as his father moves the family from Oregon to Boston MA. Though there is much humor here, the series dealt with many ... See full summary »

Stars: Lance Kerwin, Linden Chiles, Lynn Carlin
Nanny and the Professor (1970–1971)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ever-cheerful Nanny helps the Everett family with her subtly magical abilities, such as seemingly reading minds, seeing the future or making fortunate coincidences happen.

Stars: Juliet Mills, Richard Long, David Doremus
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A gang of thieves plan a daring bank robbery, making their escape across the rooftops of Los Angeles. The police are quickly called in, however, and only one of the robbers, Murdock, makes ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Bo Svenson, Cybill Shepherd, Mel Scott
Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A dog that is a minion of Satan terrorizes a suburban family.

Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Richard Crenna, Yvette Mimieux, Kim Richards
Escape (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A young woman travels from Chicago to a corrupt North Carolina town to investigate her brother's disappearance.

Director: Richard Styles
Stars: Kim Richards, Kin Shriner, Judson Scott
Alvin the Magnificent (TV Movie 1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Tom Leetch
Stars: Edward Andrews, Norman Bartold, Larry J. Blake


Credited cast:
Clay O'Brien ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mayor Massey
Sam Preston
Police Chief
Miss Pinkey
Fred Benson
Mrs. Blake
Mrs. Barkley
Charles Blackburn
Ted Gehring ...
Doyle Reager
Claude Johnson ...
Bebe Kelly ...
Mrs. Fernald


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

6 January 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Alvin the Magnificent (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

in-Fernald devices
25 March 2003 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'The Marvellous Inventions of Alvin Fernald', by Clifford B. Hicks, is a really brilliant children's novel about a boy named Alvin who wants to be a scientist AND a detective ... so he devises all sorts of low-tech (but complicated) inventions, which he then uses in his inept attempts to solve mysteries and crimes. He is assisted (if that's the right word) by his pal Wilfred Shoemaker, nicknamed Shoey (an athlete and acrobat), and by Alvin's tomboy younger sister Daphne, also known as 'the Pest'. One of the virtues of Hicks's wonderful novel is that, although it's told from a boy's viewpoint, he avoids the obvious "girls are icky" stereotype. At several points in the book, Daphne is smarter or more resourceful than her brother.

'The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton' is a very poor adaptation of Hicks's very fine novel. One of young Alvin's friends is his neighbour Miss Pinkney, the spinster recluse whose great pleasure is feeding the birds in her garden. But Miss Pinkney hasn't fed the birds lately: in fact, Alvin hasn't seen her recently at all. And who are those mean-looking men who have moved into Miss Pinkney's house? Naturally, Alvin and his cohorts decide to investigate. But this case calls for some of Alvin's crime-solving gizmos...

The original novel was suspenseful and funny (with Alvin and his buddies genuinely in danger from the villains), and it encouraged young readers to cultivate some genuine interest in science. This TV adaptation is a tremendous letdown. The spooky-house plot has the feel of a Scooby-Doo episode without the supernatural trimmings. This TV movie places too much emphasis on slapstick at the expense of the other story elements. Most of the cast provide limp performances, and the three child actors in the lead roles are disastrous. Veteran character actors John Fiedler, Edward Andrews and George O'Hanlon are ingratiating in brief roles. Rae Dawn Chong is quite attractive here, and she gives a good performance. The direction, by somebody I've never heard of, is truly wretched. This being a Disney TV movie, the production values and musical scoring are (as usual for Disney) excellent.

Clifford B. Hicks's original novel about Alvin Fernald and his sister and Shoey produced a couple of sequel novels which were very good in themselves. This TV movie also led to a couple of sequels, but they went steadily downhill. I'll rate this TV production 2 points out of 10. Try to locate the original Clifford B. Hicks novels, and give them to your kids instead of this TV movie.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: