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Nero Wolfe: The Complete Classic Whodunit Series (2001)

Timothy Hutton , Maury Chaykin , Bill Duke  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

Price: $159.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, Colin Fox, Bill Smitrovich, R.D. Reid
  • Directors: Bill Duke
  • Writers: Paul Monash, Rex Stout
  • Producers: Delia Fine, Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe, Susan Murdoch
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 1496 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CRR3CE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nero Wolfe: The Complete Classic Whodunit Series" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 20 episodes on eight discs, including the feature-length series pilot The Golden Spiders
  • "The Silent Speaker" double episode in 16x9 format
  • Bonus behind-the-scenes featurette: The Making of Nero Wolfe
  • Cast biographies and filmographies
  • Slim Case Box Set

Editorial Reviews

Like Sherlock Holmes and Watson before them, the brilliant but curmudgeonly Nero Wolfe and his streetwise sidekick Archie Goodwin are crime's greatest nemeses. With Nero preferring to solve crimes at home amid his orchid collection, it is Archie who does the legwork about town to allow Wolfe to unravel the most confounding crimes. Together the duo cracks cases of murder, deception, blackmail, and more, resulting in an unforgettable confection of mystery, suspense, and style.

Faithfully adapted from the best-selling stories by Rex Stout, THE COMPLETE NERO WOLFE MEGASET stars Maury Chaykin (The Sweet Hereafter) and Oscar(r) winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People) and features all 20 episodes of the critically acclaimed A&E series, including the feature-length series pilot, The Golden Spiders.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
267 of 270 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Satisfactory March 6, 2006
The "Nero Wolfe" TV series (2001-2002) is brilliant - casting, colors, sound and scripts. Producers Michael Jaffe, Timothy Hutton, and Howard Braunstein did a superb job bringing Rex Stout's stories to the screen. Maury Chaykin, as Nero Wolfe, and Timothy Hutton, as Archie Goodwin, along with an excellent supporting cast - Colin Fox, Bill Smitrovich, Conrad Dunn, Kari Matchett, Saul Rubinek, R.D. Reid, Fulvio Cesere, Trent McMullen, and Francie Swift to name a few - do an exceptional job portraying Stout's cherished characters.

The "Nero Wolfe" DVDs have some extras (though fans of the series would be happier with more). Included with the set are: "The Golden Spiders," the 2000 TV movie which led to the series, "The Making of Nero Wolfe," a short documentary which offers interviews with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and others involved in the production of this marvelous series, and a "bonus" widescreen version of "The Silent Speaker." To include the widescreen "bonus" of "The Silent Speaker" as an extra is ironic since all of the the episodes were shot in widescreen and should have been reproduced as such on the DVDs. And to make the set truly "mega" it would have been most gratifying if the European versions of the episodes were included in the set.

The producers choose some of Rex Stout's favorite Nero Wolfe stories for adaptation to the screen. "The Doorbell Rang," directed by Timothy Hutton, is the premier episode of the series. Nero Wolfe takes on "the big fish" J. Edgar Hoover to earn the biggest fee of his career. With the able assistance of Archie Goodwin, his intrepid legman, Wolfe triumphs over the F.B.I., earns his client's admiration (Mrs. Bruner, played by Debra Monk: "Is there anything you can't do?
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234 of 237 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, intelligent, no wonder A&E killed it May 26, 2006
Verified Purchase
This series is just a joy from beginning to end. The cast work together well (especially Hutton and Chaykin), the scripts are witty and engage your brain, the sets and locations are impeccably filmed and the DVD transfer is decent. I am normally very much a "watch once" person, but I found myself watching the same episodes over again just to enjoy the "eye-candy" and the subtle nuances of the interactions between the characters.

In case you don't know, an unusual feature of this series is that the same core actors appear in all the episodes, but some are playing different roles each episode. We found that just added to the fun, but some folks might find it irritating, so be aware. Also look out for the use of colour - the series uses specific shades of green, red, and yellow all the way through.

I don't understand why this complete edition is cheaper than either of the two separate series. Sure, the DVDs are in slim-line cases, but I actually prefer those. The video quality is identical to the more expensive versions (I already had series 1 so I compared the two). Given the many hours of pleasure you will get from it, this complete edition is a fabulous bargain.

If A&E ever release these as widescreen HD DVDs I will likely buy them over again.

The tragedy is that A&E canned the show after the second season, so there will be no more Nero Wolfe.
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138 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Flummery...just Hutton and perfection! September 12, 2006
I have been a fan of Rex Stout for a long, long time. One reason I often dislike seeing books made into movies, or at least feel the movie pales when compared to the books, because often people see things differently. So when a beloved set of characters such as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin is brought to film, I automatically cringe, because I am rarely pleased with the results. They tried in the late 70's with Thayer David playing Wolfe and Tom Mason as Archie. Excellent casting, but was a little late. Thayer David, a Sydney Greenstreet type actor, was perfect casting for Wolfe - the 1/7 of a ton genius detective that detects while never leaving him home. Only David was already ill, dying of cancer, so the weight loss and lacking of strength sadly hurt his performance. Later it was redone with William Conrad as Wolfe and too sexy Lee Horsely as Archie. Sorry, the series had Wolfe pacing when expounding to suspects and sitting on the corner of his desk. It made you wonder if the writers ever read Stout's books. So, when

Timothy Hutton stepped into Archie's shoes I had mixed reservations. I love Hutton, son of the brilliant Jim Hutton. While you see a lot of his daddy in him, he is definitely his own man, and cuts a smart style when fleshing out his roles.

So I thought, okay, he would make a good Archie. Then I wondered what about Wolfe? They cast Maury Chaykin. Brilliant! Wow, someone actually loved the books enough to follow them.

A&E is to be commended in letting Hutton run with the series for two seasons. They are to be CONDEMNED for canceling it because they deemed it too expensive to make. Shame on them! The series was a class act all the way. A delightful ensemble cast who changed roles episode to episode gave it a theatre feel.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Nero Wolfe -- the agrophobic, orchid-growing gourmet with a penchant for solving the most complicated puzzles of all (those involving the complex motivations and machinations of humans)-- may be the world's greatest (fictional) detective of the 20th century. Even so, he couldn't do it without the smooth and street smart Archie Goodwin. Reading these mysteries is always a treat, and purists may argue that the book will always be better than anything made for the big or small screen. However, I must differ, which is something considering I used to be a reporter and one of the subjects I'm certified to teach is secondary English. In other words, I'm the type people would expect to be one of the aforementioned purists.

Maury Chakin (who does an admirable job playing the eccentric and egocentric Nero Wolfe) and Timothy Hutton (who just about steals the show as the debonair and determined Archie Goodwin) so skillfully execute their respective roles that the viewer may feel that he or she has walked into one of Rex Stout's books.

The rhythm, the dialogue, and the narration are all faithful to the author's voice. The pity of this series is that it is limited to 20 of the 73 stories Stout penned using Wolfe and Goodwin. It's my understanding that the series didn't produce the revenue expected by the powers-that-be at A&E, which I attribute to the erratic scheduling rather than the quality of the episodes.

Not only do I highly recommend seeing this series, but also reading Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 4 days ago by PatE
3.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU LIKE THE OLD TV STORIES
DETECTIVE STORIES..... IF YOU LIKE THE OLD TV STORIES, YOU WILL LOVE THEM
Published 8 days ago by D. Rondy
5.0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe was never better represented than in this series
Nero Wolfe was never better represented than in this series. I hated to see it end. Maury Chaykin knew every detail about Nero Wolfe and was believable and thoroughly enjoyable. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Janet B. Lambert
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining.
Excellent portrayal of the classic Nero Wolfe. Great cast of players. Love the costumes, sets, lingo, food, quirks, all of it. Read more
Published 23 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful series!
Wonderful! We watch this over and over! True to the books, too!
Published 1 month ago by Tom F Fair
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic series
I loved the series with william conrad. Too bad it was so short. This series brings the books to life. I am glad they made it a period pliece. Read more
Published 2 months ago by wayne j. kozak
1.0 out of 5 stars Get Ready for Disappointment If You've Read Stout's Books
I give it one star for the beautiful cars, nice shots of brownstones, and little else.

Timothy Hutton is completely miscast as Archie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roman Descendant
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites to watch over and over
After watching these DVD's I am now reading all of the Rex Stout books. The character development is only matched by the beautiful sets and costumes - a visual treat.
Published 4 months ago by Michele Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!!
I watched it on A&E. Was able to watch episodes I missed. I truly enjoy the way this show is done. Same actors, or players as they call them, performing different characters. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolfe and Archie ROCK!!
Fantastic mystery series based on Rex Stout's excellent books about brilliant armchair detective Nero Wolfe and his quick-witted leg man, Archie Goodwin.
Published 4 months ago by sarahlib
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Topic From this Discussion
Are these the same as Seasons One and Two?
Yes, this is the entire series: season one and two. The only difference is that the dvds come in slim-line cases instead of standard ones.
Nov 2, 2006 by Princess A |  See all 3 posts
Nero Wolfe
Hi, Eric,

Unfortunately, "Black Orchids" (one of my favorite Stout stories) was never filmed for TV because the A&E network cancelled "Nero Wolfe" before the producers had a chance to adapt that one or the many other Nero Wolfe stories that fans would have loved to see. ... Read More
Dec 4, 2008 by Karen Smythe |  See all 2 posts
There are subtitles??
You will have cc when using your tv's cc option. I have the set so I know it works.
Dec 16, 2008 by B. Bennyhoff |  See all 12 posts
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