Ellery Queen (1975–1976)
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The Adventure of Caesar's Last Sleep 

Mobster Ralph Caesar survives a bombing attempt and plays dead, hiding out in a hotel room with two police guards. But he is found dead anyway, of poison. Furious crusading District ... See full summary »



(teleplay), (characters created by) (as Ellery Queen) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Lee Marx (as Edward Laurence Albert)
Benny Franks (as Michael Gazzo)
Jan Murray ...
Ralph Caesar
Detective Jim Millay
Erwin Murphy
Elizabeth Lane ...
Ruth Caesar
Jay Bonner (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
Erica Hagen ...
Melody Todd
Deputy Commissioner Hayes
Edie Allen
Stanley Ralph Ross ...


Mobster Ralph Caesar survives a bombing attempt and plays dead, hiding out in a hotel room with two police guards. But he is found dead anyway, of poison. Furious crusading District Attorney Erwin Murphy accuses Inspector Queen and the two guards (including Velie) of serving poisoned chewing gum, the only thing the mobster had to dine on. Ellery thinks this unlikely because nobody opened the packet except Caeser, and starts looking for other ways the poison could have been administered. Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

14 March 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode where Inspector Queen gives the solution to the murder. See more »


Inspector Richard Queen: Ellery, I've got it! I know who killed Ralph Caesar!
Ellery Queen: He does, too. That movie had a clue. Oh, you probably caught it about the same time Dad did. Now, the other important thing to remember is the real reason Ralph Caesar was going to testify in front of the grand jury. Have you got it? Who killed Caesar? Velie didn't do it. Was it Jim Millay? Erwin Murphy? Lee Marx? Ben Franks? Or was Bonner's dying statement a lie? Or was it somebody else? I'll give you a hint: Shakespeare was wrong. Nobody is...
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User Reviews

Inspector Queen solves this one, a real classic
3 November 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 20, "The Adventure of Caesar's Last Sleep," has the distinction of being the only entry in which Inspector Richard Queen (David Wayne) solves the mystery, and it's quite a serious problem. Special Prosecutor Erwin Murphy (Stuart Whitman) promises to clean up crime and corruption in New York City, planning to begin with star witness Ralph Caesar (Jan Murray), who is prepared to testify before a grand jury against mob boss Benny Franks (Michael V.Gazzo). Caesar's wife, Ruth (Elizabeth Lane), is spending time next door with neighbor Edie Allen (Bibi Besch), when a hired killer named Jay Bonner (Timothy Agoglia Carey) throws a bomb through Ralph's living room window, and later news reports confirm his death. At this point, Deputy Commissioner Hayes (Arch Johnson) sends for Inspector Queen, assigning him the task of safeguarding the still-living Ralph Caesar, who escaped death through sheer luck. The Inspector picks two men to aid him in saving Caesar until morning, the always reliable Sgt. Velie (Tom Reese), and Jim Millay (Kevin Tighe, from EMERGENCY!), a young detective who quotes regulations and goes by the book. When Queen knocks on Caesar's door at sunup, they all learn that he was murdered during the night, in a locked room, with two guards posted and no entry through the window. Determined not to let the bad publicity hurt his chances for higher office, an irate Murphy coerces his reluctant assistant, Lee Marx (Edward Laurence Albert, son of Eddie Albert), to dig up any dirt on the Inspector's two guards, threatening a negative press release before Hayes clamps down hard in defense of Inspector Queen's men. An anonymous tip leads the police into a fatal shootout with Jay Bonner, swearing with his dying breath that he never laid a hand on Caesar, closely guarded yet still dead from poison, both odorless and colorless. Since it was his shot that took down Bonner, Velie turns in his badge, leading the determined Inspector to restore his department's good standing by solving the case himself, after viewing some confidential footage of the late Ralph Caesar making a payoff. Both Lee Marx and Benny Franks are present to burst Erwin Murphy's pomposity, and a proud Ellery (Jim Hutton) congratulates his father on a job well done. Nina Roman makes a return appearance (unbilled) as Grace, Inspector Queen's secretary, confirming a collect phone call made by the late Mr. Caesar. Another candidate for favorite episode; they just don't make them like this anymore. It's a shame the network didn't have the guts to keep such a quality show on the air; at least KOLCHAK:THE NIGHT STALKER ended because Darren McGavin wanted it to, what with low ratings and expensive night shooting. Both can now be enjoyed by those who enjoy the best of TV history.

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