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The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection (Detective / Reporter / Troubleshooter / Hidden Staircase)

4.5 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nancy Drew: Original Mystery Movie Collection, The (Dbl DVD) (Multi-Title)

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These four classic, 1938 black-and-white Nancy Drew hour-long films directed by William Clemens (not the 2007 movie starring Emma Roberts) feature Bonita Granville as Nancy Drew, John Litel as Carson Drew, and Frankie Thomas as Ted Nickerson. Based on the character from the book series first published in 1930, the headstrong teenager Nancy Drew has a knack for winding up right in the middle of a mystery, and neither her father nor friend Ted can talk Nancy into doing what they consider the sensible thing: letting the police handle the detective work. With a curious mix of early feminism and cultural chauvinism, a dichotomy representative of late-1930s society, Nancy investigates each mystery with fervor, usually dragging her friend Ted into the thick of the investigation and demonstrating a complete disregard for her personal safety or the safety of her friends and family in her determination to track down the perpetrator. Sharp-witted and quick to pick up on the smallest, seemingly insignificant details, Nancy often succeeds where the local Police Captain Tweedy (Frank Orth) fails. Nancy Drew, Detective presents the story of an elderly benefactress unscrupulously detained at a sanatorium, while Reporter and Trouble Shooter are murder mysteries, and Hidden Staircase deals with a combined murder and attempt to dupe two elderly women. While somewhat ponderously paced by modern standards, these original Nancy Drew adventures are quality suspense mysteries that deserve their classic designation. (Ages 10 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Nancy Drew: Detective (1938)
  • Nancy Drew: Reporter (1939)
  • Nancy Drew: Trouble Shooter (1939)
  • Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)
  • Theatrical trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Bonita Granville
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007
  • Run Time: 263 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NVL1YU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,084 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection (Detective / Reporter / Troubleshooter / Hidden Staircase)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Original Nancy Drew Mystery Collection presents the four movie Nancy Drew series released by Warner Brothers in 1938-9. Nancy Drew (played by Bonita Granville), an enthusiastic, insightful teen, delights in solving crimes. Her successful lawyer father, Carson Drew (played by John Litel) tries to restrain and protect her, to little avail. Nancy's best friend is compliant, inventive Ted Nickerson (played by Frankie Thomas), who takes frequent tumbles in Nancy's behalf. Each film is a separate story and lasts from 60 to 69 minutes. The principals are all excellent and are supported by fine character actors.

In Nancy Drew - Detective, wealthy alumna Mary Eldredge wants to leave $250,000 to Nancy's school but suddenly disappears. Nancy's doctor reports being kidnapped to treat an old woman in a secret place, to gain entry to which, one must use the password `Blue Bells'. An injured carrier pigeon shows up with a message containing the password. Nancy goes to work to find out what happened to the alumna and to get the money for the school. Nancy and Ted disguise themselves. The story is based on `Password to Larkspur Lane'.

In Nancy Drew - Reporter, Nancy, entered in a newspaper's reporting contest, visits a coroner's inquest and decides the likely defendant is innocent. The key to the case is finding the tin can the poison came in because the can preserves all fingerprints, including the real murderer's. Ted has to box, and a hotel sign provides fun.

In Nancy Drew - Trouble Shooter, a family friend at Sylvan Lake is accused of murder. When a dead man is found under a rare, tropical flower in a field, Nancy starts to snoop. She is not happy that her father enjoys the company of a woman neighbor. Nancy and Ted get to ride in a biplane.
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Format: DVD
Really, really glad these are finally being released by a decent company. And all together in one set.

For my money, Bonita Granville truly brought Nancy Drew to life. No one else could have even come close. Sad that her career was so frustratingly short, as she was a wonderful and, in these films, exuberant actress.

Now we can enjoy these films, with Bonita/Nancy, forever young and full of life nearly 70 years later. Would love to see more of her films on DVD in the near future. (Are you listening, Warner Bros.?)
Comment 59 of 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Nancy Drew was a highly popular book series that became a group of b-level movies starring Bonita Granville in the title role. These four films are excellent little mysteries, short and sweet with plenty of gusto. They are a bit childish because of the age of the characters; teenagers today would never act the way these teens do. However, if one can ignore that, the movies are highly enjoyable and great for all ages.

First, we have Nancy Drew: Detective, a film about an elderly benefactor who plans to donate much of her fortune to the girls' school that Nancy attends. Before she can donate the money, though, she disappears. Nancy is positive she has been kidnapped, despite the little evidence to support the claim. Along with the help of Ted Nickerson (Frankie Thomas) and her lawyer father (John Litel), she finds that there is a plot afoot, and it might be more dangerous than she originally suspected.

In Nancy Drew: Reporter, Nancy switches her throw-away assignment for the local newspaper in favor of a murder trial. She knows that the woman is innocent, even though the evidence is stacked against her. If only Nancy could get her father to represent the case! But as always, Nancy takes things into her own hands, and ropes Ted into the deal.

Nancy Drew can't stand the sight of her father falling for a woman in Nancy Drew: Troubleshooter. They venture to the country so her father can work on a case against his friend, Nancy's "Uncle Matt," who has been accused of murder. They're safe, until they find the body of the missing man, and unfortunately the evidence is against good-old Matt. Nancy is suspicious as always, and looks into things a little deeper.
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Comment 35 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A on February 15, 2008
Format: DVD
Nancy Drew was my favorite heroine as a child--I devoured all the books! First off, to be able to enjoy these movies, expect changes--Nancy is a bit more bubbly and comedic, Ned's name is changed to Ted and is less suave and more of a put-upon character than the Ned in the books, Bess and George are nowhere to be found, Carson Drew can be abrupt at times, and there is more slapstick all around.

That said, I found the movies entertaining--the dialogue was brisk, the plots fun, the characters funny, but most of all, I love the chemistry between Nancy and her boyfriend Ned (I refuse to call him Ted). There is that romantic tension there--a bit more than pals, but not quite lovey dovey--and though Ned whines whenever he's dragged by Nancy into one of her wild schemes, he's ever loyal, dependable and protective--not to mention, cute, too. Bonita Granville grew on me after the first few minutes--she makes for an appealing, energetic and attractive Nancy.

It was also fun to get to know some of the lingo, fashion and details of everyday life in the 1930s. A clean, fun screwball comedy, these are movies I'm able to watch with the kids--second-generation Nancy Drew readers themselves. My only complaint would be the stereotypical depictions of some ethnic groups, the changes from the books (especially the way Mr. Drew treats the housekeeper), and the (unnecessary) appearance of two bratty children in the second movie, but other than that, I had a good time watching them. Too bad the series ended with the fourth movie.
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23 80 Twenty three Eighty
Thanks for the info. Just got done watching some very old Nancy Drew movie and she kept using the expression.
Jul 1, 2007 by M. C. Bellish |  See all 4 posts
Behind the scenes info on 1930s Nancy Drew movies...
Have you checked the IMDB? Bonita Granville really wasn't a "Superstar" but she had some good stuff on her resume.
May 4, 2008 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
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