Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Although Republic Pictures is perhaps best known for its B westerns, the film studio did produce films in other genres.  Unfortunately, those films tended to be a few grades below the studio's typical B level.  Case in point, The Mandarin Mystery.

The second of two films based on Ellery Queen novels, The Mandarin Mystery (1936) took four screenwriters to beat the stuffing out of Queen's book The Chinese Orange Mystery, turning the film into more of a comedy than anything else.  Yes, there are murders, but the mystery/detection part of the novel seems to have vanished completely.

Directed by Ralph Staub, the movie featured a cast of unknowns with Eddie Quillan as Ellery.  Francis M. Nevins wrote, "Ellery was played by Eddie Quillan, a vaudeville hoofer type whose oafish smirks and incessant wisecracking suggest that he landed the part on the basis of his initials."

Consider this my Christmas present to you.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone seems to like the second MALTESE FALCON film better than I do, though I'd suggest it has some of the same flaws.