Ellery Queen: Season 1, Episode 22

The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger (4 Apr. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Family
8.3
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An elderly amateur criminologist finally figures out how a five-year-old "locked-room" murder was committed, and is murdered by the killer before he can alert Inspector Queen. Ellery takes ... See full summary »

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Title: The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger (04 Apr 1976)

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Episode cast overview:
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Gerald Hacker
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Buck Nolan
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Brandon Childs
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Hamilton Drew
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Mrs. Alyssa Hendricks Childs
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Norma Lee Burke
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Stan Buffo
Tom Lacy ...
Ray Vogel
Tom Brown ...
The Broadcaster, Marvin
Kristin Larkin ...
The Assistant
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Storyline

An elderly amateur criminologist finally figures out how a five-year-old "locked-room" murder was committed, and is murdered by the killer before he can alert Inspector Queen. Ellery takes up the challenge himself. The criminologist had first implicated an airline pilot, because he was flying the plane where the murder was committed and had the opportunity to toss the murder weapon out the window. Nobody else seems to have been able to get rid of the weapon, but Ellery finds that the murder victim had stolen someone else's invention, and that the murderer may have invented the weapon as well. Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery

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4 April 1976 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The metal used is known as "Woods Metal" and melts at about 200 degrees F. See more »

Quotes

Ellery Queen: You have all the clues-but do you know which ones point to the killer? That melted wax helped me put it together. Remember the white powder on the floor of the airplane, and don't forget the ransom note that was put back the wrong way, and don't forget the sinker, and-well, that's it. You got it? Let's find out.
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The final episode,no. 22
27 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 22, "The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger," introduces us to Hamilton Drew (Walter Pidgeon), former chief of detectives for New York's homicide squad, a wily old bird who taught Inspector Queen everything he knows. While Ellery and his father are out on a fishing trip, Drew leaves an urgent message that they discover upon arriving home, along with the shocking news that the aging detective has been stabbed to death. Learning that Drew has been looking into a 5-year-old murder case where he had fingered the wrong man, Ellery believes that solving the earlier crime will lead to the solution behind Drew's death. The old case involves a blackmailing plot in which the victim, Stuart Hendricks, was stabbed to death aboard an airplane in flight, with all the passengers asleep from drugged coffee, and only the pilot, Buck Nolan (Ronny Cox), awake and alert. The murder weapon, a dagger, cannot be found, authorities assuming that Nolan threw it out of the little window in the cockpit. They also find the blackmailer's stolen rifle plans in Nolan's apartment; the hapless pilot is acquitted of murder but convicted of blackmail, due to the evidence provided by Hamilton Drew, against whom Buck Nolan vows revenge. On the night he was killed, Drew gathered together all of the people that were on the airplane on that fateful night 5 years earlier: Buck Nolan, only one week after his release from prison; the stewardess, Norma Lee Burke (Michelle Marsh); Brandon Childs (Mel Ferrer), the designer of the rifle plans, who succeeded Stuart Hendricks as company president; Mrs. Childs (Dana Wynter), former wife of Hendricks, who admits she was attracted to Brandon even before her husband's death; and Gerald Hacker (Gary Burghoff), who was about to be fired by Hendricks for incompetence. Veteran character actor R. G. Armstrong plays Stan Buffo, who shows Ellery the inside of the plane where the Hendricks murder took place (and which hasn't been off the ground since). This would be a most baffling case were it not for the fact that the mystery killer truly looks like the mystery killer. Tom Brown is billed as 'The Broadcaster,' actually a phony magician named Marvin who informs Ellery there are only 3 ways to get rid of a dagger: conceal it, get rid of it, or change it into something else. Kristin Larkin, playing the magician's assistant,earlier appeared as a secretary named Dorothy in episode 5, "The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express." Appearing unbilled is Nina Roman as Grace, Inspector Queen's secretary, for the 7th and last time. The only real drawback is the unfortunate knowledge that this would turn out to be the season finale, the end to a well conceived and thoroughly delightful series that was designed for intellectual audiences who liked to play along with the sleuth, which couldn't find an audience in 1975. 10 years later, however, producers Richard Levinson and William Link struck paydirt with the same format, only with a different star, Angela Lansbury, in the long-running MURDER SHE WROTE.


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