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Ellery Queen.

(15 posts)
  1. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Anybody here a fan of the 1970s Ellery Queen series starring Jim Hutton? This episode of Murder, She Wrote used a script meant for the Queen series, but wasn't filmed because boneheads at NBC canceled the show. You'll easily see which characters were Ellery, Inspector Queen and Simon Brimmer.

    http://www.cooltvzion.pro/watch-murder-she-wrote-season-6-episode-3-s06e03-online3-free-v1-484

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. pappymac

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    I loved the Ellery Queen tv series but then again, I also loved the Nero Wolfe shows.
    I'm currently reading or watching all the Hercule Poirot books and shows I can find. Every one I've read so far has at least one pipe smoker.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Pappy- and anyone else....

    What do you make of the remake of Murder on The Orient Express? I'd just as soon have saved the $6 bucks I paid renting it on DIRECTV®. Though if one had not seen the original or the Finney version, I guess it'd be well worth it.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. pappymac

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    jpmcwjr - We waited until the new one came out on line and watched the 1974 version starring Albert Finney one night and the new one with Kenneth Branagh in the starring role the next night. In my opinion, the 1974 was better. It followed the book more closely and at times the dialogue was directly lifted from the book. I also didn't care from some of the action sequences that were added to the newer version. They made changes to a couple of characters also.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I've never seen the TV show, but I was always a fan of the print version of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. johnsteam86

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    I have not seen the series but I do read there magazines about 4 times a year.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. jiminks

    JimInks

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    I've read every novel and short short where the Ellery Queen character appears.

    Btw, you can watch the 1970s Ellery Queen series here for free:

    https://archive.org/details/ElleryQueenSeries

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. kcghost

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    I didn't think Ellery Queen with Jim Hutton in the lead really hit on all cylinders. Seems like the casting was a little off. Thought Nero Wolfe was much better. Of course neither of then carry a candle to any of the fine PBS mysteries.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. jiminks

    JimInks

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    KC, I respectfully disagree with you about Jim Hutton. Much of the reason this series has a cult following is because of Hutton. He played Ellery as he was asked: occasionally absent minded with a little humor and a lot of intelligence and charm in a Jimmy Stewart-like way. I think he did that well. The scripts often didn't allow him to stretch out beyond that. And the relationship between Ellery and Inspector Queen was one of the best, most believable father-son relationships I have seen on TV.

    I was disappointed that show co-creator William Link many years later criticized Hutton for being a little soft without enough drive. My response would be that they should have written the character differently if that was what they wanted. Hutton provided a charming, amiable screen presence not often seen with TV detectives. Later in the run, they tried to stretch Ellery's emotions and actions a little further, and wrote more compelling stories, but it was too late to save the show. Actually, no film version of Ellery matches the fictional character in the books, and even there, we see two different versions of Ellery over time.

    I always considered Murder, She Wrote to be "Ellery Queen" in drag with many of the same writers and same producers. My good friend Tom Sawyer, who was the show runner for Murder, She Wrote, told me that they made Angela Lansbury a little more pro-active and spirited than Ellery was, with less humor in the show, and made the mysteries easier to solve, which was one thing they felt hurt the Queen series as the mysteries were often difficult to solve on that show. He left they needed to make those "corrections" to help sell the show, and considering the long run MSW had, it's hard to argue that point. But, I still like Hutton as Ellery, and I think he could have done more if asked... which they did do in later episodes, and I think he did fine with that when asked.

    Check out my favorite two episodes: The Adventure of the Wary Witness and the pilot movie, and you'll see Hutton do a little more than in some of the other episodes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. pappymac

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    Jim, with the constant remaking of movies and t.v. shows in the past two decades, I'm surprised someone hasn't tried to re-do Ellery Queen - just look at McGyver, Hawaii 5-O and some of the others. The new series "Instinct" is nothing more than a re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes or other buddy cop shows. And now they are going to bring back the Roseanne show? How imaginative is that?

    Of course, with the current PC state of Hollywood, they would screw it up and make Ellery a minority female somehow or gay - NO OFFENSE MEANT. My point is that if you change the character of a book than you change the dynamics of both. I could see a black male playing Ellery for example, without much change. Changing gender or sexual identity wouldn't work for me personally because it changes the mythology of the story.

    The wife and I was talking the other night and was wondering why they don't remake some of the other great t.v. shows or movies of the past. I would like to see a remake of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, for example. Then again, they would probably just screw it up and have to name it 20,000 Leagues over the Sea.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. jiminks

    JimInks

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    I am not one for taking long standing characters and keeping the name while changing everything else, e.g. ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I know why it is done on occasion, but I'd prefer a new character to radically changing the older ones. As for why nobody has tried to bring back Ellery Queen, it's hard to say. His stories were very popular for several decades, but I doubt anybody under the age of 55 remembers anything about him. He fell out of public awareness after the TV show went off the air.

    One of the two men who were "Ellery Queen", Manfred B. Lee, died in 1971, and the other, Fredric Dannay, retired the character at that time, though he edited Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine until his passing. The magazine is still being published. By the way, the Ellery Queen character has a huge following in Japan. Perhaps had Dannay continued the Queen series with another writer, the character would have survived for years, and perhaps given another film revival. But, that's something we'll never know.

    I did get to speak to Dannay once back in '78 when I was 17. He was very nice to me, and I think he appreciated knowing there was a younger audience for the series. I asked him if he'd consider bring back Ellery, but he said he wasn't up to writing books anymore, and was happy editing the magazine.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. jiminks

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    I found a fascinating, quite lengthy article on the Ellery Queen creators and character, though there are a couple factual errors: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/117689/AkersJordan.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. curl

    curl

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    I don’t mean to sidetrack this thread, but Jim’s description of Hutton reminded me of the lead character in this short series of books...

    https://www.amazon.com/DC-Smith-Investigation-Book/dp/B074KM4MTD/ref=sr_1_1_ha?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1522751457&sr=1-1&keywords=dc+smith+series

    Yeah, the tales are set in England instead of America, but still DC Smith is pretty modest about his intelligence. My visualization of him is that he’s small to average in stature, but he’s still not afraid to square up against the bad guys using his wits instead of fists and guns.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. craiginthecorn

    craiginthecorn

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    In the late 1960s, my father loved to sit in his easychair in the living room, smoke his unfiltered Chesterfield Kings, and sip a vodka martini while reading Ellery Queen mystery magazines.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. jiminks

    JimInks

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    That's a great memory. I used to sit outside and read it while I smoked my pipe. When I was 16, and was allowed to smoke in the house (meaning, when I told my parents I was a pipe smoker) I used to sit in my room where it was quiet, and smoke and read. It was a great magazine with many famous writers. I also note it's still being published today.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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