Archive for Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime

Queen of Crime

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2021 by dcairns

So, found another set of Columbia B pictures to dig into — Ralph Bellamy as ELLERY QUEEN, crime writer/detective.

I’ve only read one Ellery Queen book, which turned out to have been ghosted by respected SF writer Theodore Sturgeon.

I don’t know if ELLERY QUEEN AND THE PERFECT CRIME (James Hogan, 1941) bears any resemblance to any particular EQ book, but Eric Taylor, prolific and talented B-writer, is one of the scribes. And it has Spring Byington, drunken sexy Jesus HB Warner, Douglas Dumbrille, and a monkey. That guy from the movies, Ralph Bellamy, plays EQ, and Margaret Lindsay and Charley Grapewin are series regulars.

James Hogan alternates between static laundry line compositions that go on for years, and slightly more dynamic or inventive bits. Classic B approach, better than most. Being essentially a dilettante, Ellery Q gets to be flippant and eccentric and annoys the right people, and there are some decent gags. Also, really funky reel changes.

With Bellamy and Sidney Blackmer appearing, we can deduce that this movie played a big role in the casting of ROSEMARY’S BABY.

ELLERY QUEEN AND THE PERFECT CRIME stars Dr. Sapirstein; Hepzibah Pyncheon; Grandpa Joad; Bertha Van Cleve; Jeff Tuttle; Chief Powhattan; Dr. Paul Beecher; Elizabeth Price; Roman Castevet; Napoleon III; Max Jacobs; Louie Dumbrowsky; Dr. Bulfinch; and Elmer Fudd.