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Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 30 November 1940 (USA)
Famed detective and crime novelist Ellery Queen solves a case involving the suspicious death of a rich man whose inheritors fight over his estate.

Director:

Kurt Neumann

Writers:

Frederic Dannay (story) (as Ellery Queen), Manfred Lee (story) (as Ellery Queen) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ralph Bellamy ... Ellery Queen
Margaret Lindsay ... Nikki Porter
Charley Grapewin ... Insp. Queen
James Burke ... Sgt. Velle
Michael Whalen ... Dr. James Rogers
Marsha Hunt ... Barbara Braun
Fred Niblo ... John Braun
Charles Lane ... Dr. Prouty
Ann Shoemaker ... Lydia Braun
Marion Martin ... Cornelia
Douglas Fowley ... Rocky Taylor
Morgan Wallace ... Zachary
Byron Foulger ... Amos
Katherine DeMille ... Valerie Norris
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Storyline

The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery, works on the case. He goes to a home frequently visited by Dr. Rogers where the bell is answered by Nikki Porter who Ellery mistakes for Barbara and insists she return to the Braun home. Nikki does, to protect Barbara, and a short time later finds herself alone in a room outside Braun's bedroom. She finds him dead - his throat cut. No weapons are found and the door to the room where Nikki had been is locked, and she is suspected. Ellery hides Nikki in his apartment. Braun's body, sent for an autopsy, disappears and in its place is a life-sized statue of the dead man. Elley finds the body in a closet, the police prepare to send it downtown but someone drives off with the ambulance. Ellery, ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE'S ON THE SCREEN NOW! (original poster-all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Braun's Body See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Film Daily - Hollywood - Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1940: Producer Larry Darmour has closed on the film rights to more than 30 "Ellery Queen" mystery novels and the weekly transcontinental radio broadcasts. He has exclusive picture rights for three years and will make two or three pictures a year, possibly for distribution by Columbia Pictures Corporation. See more »

Quotes

Ellery Queen: You are not much of a talker... for a woman.
Nikki Porter: The company, no doubt, for a private dectetive, you are rather dull.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lively comedy with likeable characters
12 August 2019 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

Ralph Bellamy and Margaret Lindsay investigate a murder and have a good time doing it in this entertaining comedy.

Bellamy is a clever and playful Ellery Queen. "Did you buy this book?" he teases the police detective who asks him to autograph his latest book. "I've missed several from my study lately."

Lindsay is also fun as Nikki Porter, a would-be mystery writer herself. She has a shelf full of Ellery Queen's books but claims she can't stand him. Naturally the two soon meet, start bickering immediately, and only gradually become friends and allies.

The plot includes a murder but it's mainly an excuse to get Ellery and Nikki together. Nikki gets herself trapped in the outer office of a cranky millionaire who then dies mysteriously in the inner office. Ellery helps Nikki escape before the cops arrive. While the police look for Nikki, who has left her fingerprints all over, she hides out in Ellery's house--which of course is also the home of Ellery's father, Inspector Queen, who is investigating the murder.

That sounds like a dangerous ordeal but Nikki proves she is game: "You know something, Ellery?" she says after a narrow escape. "I'm beginning to like being a murder suspect. As long as they don't catch me."

Charley Grapewin is a colorful and fast-talking Inspector Queen. James Burke is fun as loyal assistant Sergeant Velle.

The murder suspects barely appear--this really is much more a comedy than a traditional whodunit. The stars eventually do some detecting but the focus is almost always on lively banter rather than murder clues. Overall, it's no showcase for amazing skills of deduction...but it is very easy to watch.


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