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The Mandarin Mystery (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 23 December 1936 (USA)
Two murders are committed and a $50,000 Chinese Mandarin stamp is stolen, tossed around and eventually recovered as an aggregation of costly-stamp counterfeiters are uncovered through the mastermind investigation by Ellery Queen.


Ralph Staub


Frederic Dannay (story, 'The Chinese Orange Mystery') (as Ellery Queen), Manfred Lee (story, 'The Chinese Orange Mystery') (as Ellery Queen) | 4 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Quillan ... Ellery Queen
Charlotte Henry ... Josephine Temple
Rita La Roy ... Martha Kirk
Wade Boteler ... Inspector Queen
Franklin Pangborn ... Mellish
George Irving ... Dr. Alexander Kirk
Kay Hughes ... Irene Kirk
William Newell ... Detective Guffy
George Walcott ... Donald Trent
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... Howard Bronson
Edgar Allen Edgar Allen ... Newspaper Reporter
Walter Merrill Walter Merrill ... Craig the Thief (as Anthony Merrill)
Richard Beach Richard Beach ... Reporter
Monte Vandergrift ... Detective (as Monte Vandegrift)
Grace Durkin ... Girl on Street Corner


A very rare and priceless Chinese postage stamp is stole as its thief claims two victims in a hotel,, both of whom are murdered in inexplicably locked rooms. Young Ellery romances the stamps beautiful owner, Josephie Temple, while working with his father, Inspector Queen to solve the baffling case and expose the killer. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The monogram that detective Ellery Queen uses, "E Q" is the same as the actor playing him, Eddie Quillan. See more »


Josephine Temple: [looking at Ellery and his father] A pair of Queens is hard to beat.
Josephine Temple: [hinting at marriage] Three Queens is better!
See more »


Referenced in Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery (1941) See more »

User Reviews

Give me the 'real' Ellery!
17 March 2008 | by chureiSee all my reviews

If one can simply forget the literary Ellery Queen, this is an OK murder mystery (locked room murder, etc. etc. ). the problem, for Ellery Queen fans is that the whole thing, on that basis, is WAY off the mark. Queen is an analytical detective, and his father and the Police are not dolts. The books are written with more twists and turns and excellence that most others on the mystery shelf (with the possible exceptions of S.S. Van Dyne (Philo Vance) and, of course, Agatha Christie.)Dropping the comparison, one must note the ridiculousness of some of the plot e.g. the whole world knows the value of the stamp - it even appears on the Times Square news bulletin - yet the girl carries the stamp in an envelope in her open pocketbook. Despite all of this, Quillan is a fun actor, definitely not Ellery but giving the film the spunk it desperately needs. Charlotte Henry does not have a 'clue' and thus cannot handle the idiocy of what her character says and does. Still, on a chilly night, with the rain on the window, and curled up on a comfortable chair, this passes the time quickly.

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Release Date:

23 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chinese Orange Mystery See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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