A beautiful heiress attempts to seek refuge in Nero Wolfe's house without revealing her identity or reasons for hiding. When she is turned away and found murdered shortly thereafter, Archie Goodwin takes off on his own to find the killer.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Fox ...
Bernard Quest
Perry Helmar
Sarah Jaffee
Priscilla Eads
Conrad Dunn ...
Robert Bockstael ...
District Attorney T. Bowen
Nicky Guadagni ...
Viola Duday
Bill MacDonald ...
R.D. Reid ...
Diana Barrington ...
Daphne O'Neill (as Dina Barrington)


An anonymous young woman approaches Archie with the proposition that she be allowed to spend a week at the Wolfe complex incommunicado, and she is willing to pay well for the privilege. Taken by her beauty, the chivalrous Goodwin agrees to argue her case with Nero, who is characteristically angered to find a female tenant under his roof. The next morning, lawyer Perry Helmar tries to hire Wolfe to locate his missing ward, Priscilla Eads, who stands to inherit her father's factory and considerable fortune when she turns 25 in a week. Archie recognizes her picture as his young guest, but neither man reveals the truth to her guardian. When the young heiress cannot agree to terms with Wolfe, she leaves his protection and shortly thereafter is found bludgeoned and strangled. A guilt-ridden Archie looks for the murderer in the board room of the dead girl's company and is subsequently arrested for impersonating a policeman. Before Nero can free his friend and solve the crime, the killer ... Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

13 May 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bernard Quest: I have been in this company 62 years. In 1933, when I was made Vice-President by Nathan Eads, he promised me that one day I would be given a substantial share in the corporation. In 1942 he died, and when his will was read, I found he had broken his promise to me, and so I decided to kill his daughter Priscilla. She was 15 years old. I decided to strangle her.
Viola Duday: [screaming] Bernie!
Sarah Jaffee: [shocked] My God!
Nero Wolfe: I even worked out the details - where to find a rope, how to employ it, what to do with afterward, ...
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Cabaret Act
Written by Ib Glindemann
CAR 202:41
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User Reviews

High praise for the movie and cast.
2 January 2002 | by (Hampstead, Maryland, USA) – See all my reviews

I have enjoyed every episode of Nero Wolfe on A&E, but especially the two-parters which can qualify as full-length movies. Timothy Hutton is excellent as Archie Goodwin, and the supporting cast is outstanding. The idea of an ensemble or repertory company where many cast members play a different role in each movie or episode is first-rate, as is the quality of their performances. Prisoner's Base just seemed to me to be the most absorbing and involved of the movies and episodes which premiered during 2001, though I highly recommend each Nero Wolfe movie or episode if you enjoy mysteries, intelligent dialogue, superior acting and period pieces set in the 1940's and/or 1950's.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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