Friday, March 25, 2016

The Ellery Queen Mysteries on DVD

[DVD Ellery] 

Set in the 1940s after WWII, Ellery Queen Mysteries was a one-season TV series starring Jim Hutton as the mystery writer/detective, and David Wayne as his widowed father, NYPD Homicide Inspector Richard Queen. Each episode begins with an introduction to the murder (“in five min this movie producer will be dead”) and a listing of the potential suspects (“Was it the newly fired director? The young starlet with whom he’s having the affair? The film writer?”), and a challenge to viewers to “match wits with Ellery Queen and see if you can guess — whodunnit!” Then moves to the opening credits with the catchy theme song by Elmer Bernstein (encouraging you to Fox Trot across the living room).

The TV series is based on the characters in the Ellery Queen mystery book series written by cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee using the pseudonym Ellery Queen. The stories are plotted with clues that enable to reader to solve the crime and the TV series follows the same pattern.
At the end of each episode Ellery breaks the fourth wall to ask the home viewer if we have figured out the mystery (I never did). Widely recognized character actors populate this series and made the viewing even more fun, as well as the obvious familial fondness Ellery and Richard have for each other.

Definitely a family-friendly program, no foul language or grisly murder scenes, but definitely very entertaining and highly recommended. (Interesting side note: when Hutton’s son Timothy starred in Ordinary People and the Nero Wolfe TV series he wore the Ellery Queen cap his dad wore in the series).

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the Nero Wolfe mysteries on DVD.] [Ellery Queen mysteries are also available in traditional print format.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Wikipedia page for the Ellery Queen Mysteries series ]

Recommended by Charlotte K.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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