Ellery Queen (1975–1976)
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The Adventure of the Black Falcon 

Letting a fine wine "breathe" proves deadly for the wine's owner Nick Kingston, who leaves it unattended for a killer to poison it. The vintner, who's hosting a party upstairs, comes back ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Eddie Morgan
Flora Schumann
John Randall
The Amazing Armitage
The Hat Check Girl
Rosanna Huffman ...
Nancy McGuire
Lewis Charles ...
Nick Kingston
George Skaff ...
Maitre D'
Bob Basso ...


Letting a fine wine "breathe" proves deadly for the wine's owner Nick Kingston, who leaves it unattended for a killer to poison it. The vintner, who's hosting a party upstairs, comes back only to collapse. He tries to implicate the killer but breaks the wine cellar's only pencil, so he crawls to a wine rack and grabs a bottle, smashing it on the floor. The shattered bottle bears the label Black Falcon, indicating it was tied to World War One. But how? Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

4 January 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the last time the victim leaves a clue before dying. In a few later shows (The Adventures of "The Wary Witness," "The Two-Faced Woman," The Tyrant of Tin Pan Alley," "Caesar's Last Sleep,") detectives think they have found a dying clue, but it is either there by coincidence or, in one case., is a red herring planted by the killer. See more »


The wine bottle used as a dying clue, when read aloud, is pronounced "der Schwarze Falke" which is the correct spelling and pronunciation. The label on the bottle, however reads: "Der Schwartz Falke". See more »


Ellery Queen: Well, I think I know what happened. Do you? This bottle of Morningstar wine not being where Nick Kingston thought it was should give you the solution. You know who the killer is now? Was it John Randall? Eddie Morgan? Nancy McGuire? The Amazing Armitage? Alexander the wine steward? Or somebody else? Let's find out. Auf weidersehn!
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User Reviews

Not for wine connoisseurs
23 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 12, "The Adventure of the Black Falcon," features the return of radio sleuth Simon Brimmer (John Hillerman), broadcasting live from an exclusive night club run by Nick Kingston (Lewis Charles) and Eddie Morgan (Howard Duff). Present are Inspector Richard Queen and son Ellery, prepared for an arrest if Brimmer comes forth with new information on an old case (this gives the Inspector a reason to explain why his department resents Brimmer's interference). Just as the broadcast begins, the dead body of Nick Kingston is discovered locked in the wine cellar, clutching a broken bottle of wine originating from Germany, 'The Black Falcon.' Into a glass of wine someone had slipped poison, both colorless and odorless, otherwise Nick would never had swallowed it, then removed all traces of the wine and the glass, never noticing the dying man reaching for The Black Falcon, which features the same insignia that can be found on the victim's ring. Suspects, apart from Nick's partner Eddie, with whom the deceased was known to argue, include the piano player, John Randall (Tab Hunter), the mind reader, The Amazing Armitage (Roddy McDowall), and the cleaning woman, Flora Schumann( Signe Hasso), who claims to be Dutch, not German. While Simon Brimmer makes good use of himself for a change, Ellery is directed to the solution of the murder by the wine steward, Alexander the Sommelier (a solid performance by prolific character actor William Schallert).

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