Ellery Queen: Season 1, Episode 5

The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express (9 Oct. 1975)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Family
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Inspector Queen calls in his son Ellery to help investigate the murder of a newspaper publisher, who first disappears from his private express elevator then is later found there dead by gunshot.



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Episode cast overview:
Albert Klinger
Mitchell McCully (as Pat Harrington)
Miss Harriet Manners
Thornton Johns
Zelda Van Dyke
Kip Niven ...
Arthur Van Dyke
Elevator Starter, Fred Durnhoffer
Suzann Arnold ...
Judy Adams (as Suzanne Arnold)
Sally (as Sandy de Bruin)
Kristin Larkin ...
Tyler McVey ...
Henry Manners


A newspaper publisher gets onto the express elevator on the way to his 12th-floor office. But when the elevator, a new model with push buttons for each floor (the operator pushed the top-floor button) gets to the top floor, the publisher is nowhere to be found. The elevator closes and goes down. To the horror of staffers on two lower floors, the elevator opens at each floor to reveal the publisher, who's dead from a gunshot wound. The publisher himself had pushed the buttons for the two floors before he died, implicating someone -- but who? Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

9 October 1975 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Ellery meets Zelda Van Dyke in her apartment, Arthur Van Dyke, her grandson who writes obituaries for the newspaper states that Ellery was born in NYC on April 2, 1912. Since the show is set in 1947, this would indicate that Ellery is 35 years of age. See more »


When Ellery goes to see Thornton Johns in the City Room the door Ellery come through is marked 1063 which would indicate that the City Room is on the 10th floor, but directly across the hall is a door marked 1262 which could only be on the 12th floor. No skyscraper in the city would have mismatched doors in hallways. See more »


Ellery Queen: Now, why didn't I think of this before? Probably because it's so simple. The impossible crime is not only possible, I know who killed Henry Manners. It was somebody who knew his rigid work schedule, somebody who knew how to get to him, and still have an alibi. Now, that's all the information you need. Oh, don't forget: three buttons were pushed.
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User Reviews

Second straight entry with Frank Flannigan
18 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 5, "The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express," is a real puzzler featuring the second straight appearance of Ken Swofford as Frank Flannigan, gossip columnist for the New York Gazette. Henry Manners (Tyler McVey), owner and publisher of the Daily Examiner, arrives to work at 8:00 AM sharp, greets the elevator starter (John Finnegan), then steps into his private elevator going straight to the 12th floor. The 12th floor secretary (Sandy de Bruin) sees no one when the elevator doors open, but after it stops on a lower floor, Manners is found lying dead on the floor, victim of a fatal gunshot. Frank Flannigan shows up, delighted to be covering a juicy murder story at a rival paper. Among the suspects are Miss Harriet Manners (Dina Merrill),the dead man's sister, who was plotting to take over the newspaper but has now inherited it, retaining the services of the longtime editor (Paul Stewart), who was reluctantly going to be 'retired' by her late brother. Other suspects about to be canned include attorney Arthur Klinger (George Furth), and Mitchell McCully (Pat Harrington), political muckraker exposing 'commie pinkos,' incurring the wrath of a man planning to sue the paper for 2 million dollars. McCully was hoping that Manners would back him in the lawsuit but this cannot be confirmed due to the publisher's death. John Finnegan, as Fred the elevator starter, previously appeared as a bartender in the pilot feature, while actress Kristin Larkin, cast as a secretary named Dorothy, would play a different character in the very last episode, "The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger." Playing a security guard is TV veteran Bill McLean, who (usually) appears unbilled. This author admits that he was stumped as to how the murder took place but sharp-eyed viewers may guess the truth just as Ellery does.

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