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Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940) DVD-R

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Starring Ralph Bellamy, Margaret Lindsay, Charley Grapewin, James Burke, Michael
Whalen, Charles Lane
Directed by Kurt Neumann

Print: black/white
Runtime: 69 min.
Genre: mystery
Print Quality: B

Ralph Bellamy made the first of four appearances as fictional sleuth Ellery Queen in
Columbia's Ellery Queen, Master Detective. For reasons that defy logic, the studio elected to
transform the brilliant, analytical Queen into a hopeless bumbler, who seems incapable of
tying his own shoes, much less solving a murder. Set at a posh health resort, the story gets
under way when wealthy physical culturalist John Braun (played by former director Fred
Niblo) is killed after threatening to cut all his heirs out of his will. Investigating the killing is
crime novelist Ellery Queen, his police-inspector father (Charles Grapewin), and another
mystery writer, Nikki Porter (Margaret Lindsay). In short order, the body disappears, along
with the will, a set of X-rays, and an ambulance! Somehow, Ellery Queen manages to put the
pieces together and solve the crime, whereupon Nikki Porter offers to become Ellery's
secretary-even though it's clear she's got more brains in her left toe than he has in his
whole carcass.

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