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Nirvana in detective land,
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This review is from: Nero Wolfe - The Complete First Season (DVD)
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.
The costuming is great, the acting divine and the stories - well, I actually KNEW what book they were based on! It was HEAVEN.
So A&E I thank you for putting out these wonderful episodes so we Archie Addicts can enjoy them again. And go take a flying leap for canceling what is nirvana in detective land.