Ellery Queen Mysteries
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Guest Stars include: Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, Tom Bosley, George Burns, Joan Collins, Troy Donahue, Anne Francis, Eva Gabor, Larry Hagman, June Lockhart, Robert Loggia, Roddy McDowall, Ed McMahon, Sal Mineo, Donald O'Connor, Dean Stockwell, Dick Van Patten, Vincent Price, Cesar Romero, Betty White, and many more!
Top Customer Reviews
The series was based on the popular classic Ellery Queen mystery books from the 1930's. The show lasted only one season on NBC, but has remained a fan favorite.
Set in the post-WWII 1947, the show closely followed the format of the Ellery Queen mystery novels, which carefully laid out the clues before the reader/audience and invited them to attempt to solve the mystery before Ellery Queen presented the solution.
The show premiered March 23, 1975 with a telepilot, "Too Many Suspects," which was adapted from the book, The Fourth Side of the Triangle. Beloved veteran character actor, David Wayne, portrayed Ellery's crusty but loveable father, Inspector Richard Queen throughout the series. Wayne perfectly delivered folksy dialog ostensibly from the 1940's like, "Why don't we cut all the banana oil?"
Hutton (the father of actor Timothy Hutton) played Ellery to perfection, blending absent-minded goofiness with genuine emotional depth and boyish charm. Together, he and Wayne had the perfect on-screen chemistry, creating an authentic charm that remains undiminished after all of these years.
In all, 22 fun one-hour episodes followed beginning on Sept. 11, 1975, the last show airing on April 4, 1976.
In the early Queen books, just prior to the presentation of the solution to the mystery, a "Challenge To The Reader" was issued during which the suspects and clues were reviewed and the reader challenged to guess the solution to the crime.
This tradition was preserved in the series, when Hutton as Ellery turns from the scene to the camera and speaks directly to viewers.Read more ›
Running just one season, the television series Ellery Queen Mysteries (1975-76) was based on the fictional detective, and was produced by William Link and Richard Levinson, the same team responsible for Columbo, and later Murder She Wrote. The series was set in New York sometime after the end of World War II, and opened with a provocative introduction and Elmer Bernstein's catchy theme.
The casting was simply stellar, as Jim Hutton (The Green Berets) and David Wayne in the lead roles, had wonderful chemistry together. Hutton was marvelous as Ellery Queen, a writer of mystery novels, with some odd personality quirks. Ellery shared an apartment with his father Inspector Richard Queen (Wayne), the NYPD's chief of detectives. It was through this connection, that the younger Queen often became involved in bizarre and challenging cases, mostly involving the upper crust of society. The cast also included Queen's muscular right hand man, Sergeant Velie (Tom Reese). Ken Swofford was slick reporter Frank Flanagan. And a pre-Magnum P.I. John Hillerman was the uppity detective Simon Brimmer, host of the radio program The Casebook Of Simon Brimmer, who often attempted to match wits with Ellery.
Dannay's and Lee's intricate mysteries were typically set in the times they were written, and the character evolved through the decades.Read more ›
Most importantly, the series was every bit as good when I viewed it last night as it was in my memory, where, believe me, it was pretty danged good. That's no mean feat! The acting, the pacing of the episodes (I watched Too Many Suspects and The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne) and the mysteries themselves were all uniformly excellent. It was a pleasure to get reacquainted with Jim Hutton, too, whose work I've always enjoyed and have missed.
The picture and sound are very good. I'm not a video/audio techy person, so I can't go into particulars and while I could see that the picture wasn't up to blu-ray standards, I was completely satisfied.
The case is nice and includes a Reference Guide with a synopsis of each of the episodes, some color stills and essays from Janet Hutchings (editor of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine) and Andrew Gulli (Managing Editor of The Strand Magazine).
IMHO, the producers of the DVDs have done this great series proud and I'm so glad they finally got around to it!
Very highly recommended.
One last note: If there are any fans of this series who have never gotten around to reading the Ellery Queen books (the ones starring Ellery), I highly recommend that you give them a try as well. They're intricate and superbly plotted as well as being very entertaining reads. On my shelf, they sit alongside Agatha Christie, which is about the highest praise I can give them. :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent and just as I remember when this series was on TV...Published 6 days ago by Michael Hendren
I am enjoying seeing this series again. Love it just as much this time around.Published 11 days ago by Marilyn
love this show can watch it over and over wish there were morePublished 18 days ago by Vicki Stephens