The Mandarin Mystery (December 23, 1936)
Released on December 23, 1936: (running time 53 minutes) While trying to woo a beautiful young lady, amateur detective Ellery Queen solves a locked room murder mystery.
Produced by Nat Levine
Directed by Ralph Staub
Written by Frederic Dannay (as Ellery Queen), Cortland Fitzimmons, John Francis Larkin, Manfred Lee (as Ellery Queen), Gertrude Orr and Rex Taylor
The Actors: Eddie Quillan (Ellery Queen), Charlotte Henry (Josephine Temple), Rita La Roy (Mrs. Martha Kirk), Wade Boteler (Police Inspector Queen), Franklin Pangborn (Mellish, the hotel manager), George Irving (Doctor Alexander Kirk, Kay's uncle), Kay Hughes (Irene Kirk), William Newell (Detective Guffy), George Walcott (Donald Trent), Edwin Stanley (Howard Bronson), Edgar Allen (police detective), Bert Roach (police detective), Richard Beach (reporter), Monte Vandergrift (police detective), Grace Durkin (girl on street corner), Mary Russell (girl on street corner), June Johnson (girl at cocktail bar), Mary Bovard (girl at cocktail bar), Marc Cramer (hotel desk clerk), Lester Dorr (reporter at dock), Charles McAvoy (police officer Jones), Walter Merrill (Craig the thief), Frank O'Connor (detective), Vesey O'Davoren (Mason the butler), Carleton Young (drunk)
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Can YOU Solve This Murder Mystery?
Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee were cousins who wrote detective murder mystery novels together from 1929 through 1958. Not only was their detective named Ellery Queen, but they used that name as the author of the novels, remaining somewhat anonymous to the public. There have been, and still are, first rate detective authors around, but none like these two. So what is so different with the Ellery Queen stories?
In every story, near the end of the tale, the authors reserve a page for a challenge to the readers. On that page, they declare that all of the clues that the detective needs to solve the case have been revealed on the preceding pages, and that there is only one way to untangle the clues that will lead to the guilty person.
If you try to bend the clues towards any other suspect, they will not hold up. This is unique to their style, and stands as a tribute to their own methodical and uncanny way of putting together a first class ‘whodunit’ that challenges every armchair detective.
So, you will discover in this movie adaptation, that at one point in the story Eddie Quillan, who plays the part of Ellery Queen, announces that he has all the information that he needs to solve the case. Can you stop the movie at that point and figure out who the murderer is?
I didn't have a clue. I knew all the clues and information that was needed to solve the case, but remained clueless to the identity of the killer, until amateur detective Ellery Queen revealed the answers. How did you do? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn drizzled with plenty of warm melted butter and enjoy the show.
Charlotte Henry and Eddie Quillan in The Mandarin Mystery
Charlotte Henry and Eddie Quillan
Eddie Quillan as Ellery Queen and Wade Boteler
Franklin Pangborn as Mellish, the hotel manager
Franklin Pangborn and William Newell
George Walcott and Kay Hughes
George Walcott and Wade Boteler
Kay Hughes and George Walcott
Kay Hughes and Rita La Roy
Rita La Roy
Rita La Roy, George-Walcott, Kay Hughes
Rita La Roy
Wade Boteler and Eddie Quillan
Wade Boteler and George Irving