<--Fredrick Dannay (Left)
Ellery Queen is both a fictional character and a pseudonym used by two American cousins from Brooklyn, New York: Daniel (David) Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) and Manford (Emanuel) Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee (1905–1971), to write detective fiction.
In a successful series of novels that covered 42 years, Ellery Queen served as both author's name and that of the detective-hero. Movies, radio shows, and television shows have been based on their works.
The two, particularly Dannay, were also responsible for co-founding and directing Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, generally considered as one of the most influential English crime fiction magazines of the last sixty-five years.
The Queen novels are examples of the classic "fair play", whodunit mystery, particularly during what became known as the "Golden Age" of the mystery novel.
Because the reader obtains clues in the same way as the protagonist detective, the book becomes an intellectually challenging puzzle. Mystery writer John Dickson Carr termed it "the grandest game in the world."
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1. The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935) - Donald Cook as Ellery Queen
This is the first Ellery Queen Movie. New York detective Ellery Queen (Donald Cook) travels to the California coast with his friend Judge Macklin for a vacation at a rented cabin. But they don't even have a chance to unpack before they become swept up in a kidnapping and murders involving the Godfrey family who live in the Spanish Cape estate nearby. As bodies drop as often as the tides, and the local police suspect everyone in the Godfrey family, Ellery comes to the rescue and solves the crimes while romancing the family's beautiful daughter Stella.
2. The Mandarin Mystery (1936) – Eddie Quillan as Ellery Queen:
This adaptation of an Ellery Queen mystery concerns the theft of a rare Chinese stamp (the Mandarin of the title), which takes place in a hotel with several shifty characters and an hysterical manager (the priceless Franklin Pangborn). The mystery concerns both the stamp theft and two murders, and shows Ellery and his father (the Inspector) as a team rubbing together just enough to solve the case.
3. Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940) - Ralph Bellamy - The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery (Ralph Bellamy), works on the case.
4. Ellery Queen and The Perfect Crime (1941) - Ralph Bellamy - When John Mathews, the president of a power company, discovers that one of his company's dams is likely to fail, he quietly sells his and his son Walter's holdings. Having heard rumors about the dam, Ray Jardin, a major stockholder, questions Mathews, but Mathews assures him that it is perfectly safe. The next day, under pressure from heavy floods, the dam bursts, ruining both Jardin and his servant Henry, who had invested their life savings in the company. Upon learning of his father's duplicity, Walter, who is in love with Jardin's daughter Marian, denounces him and leaves home despite the objections of his aunt, Carlotta Emerson, and Anthony Rhodes, the family attorney. Several days later, Mathews goes to police headquarters to ask Inspector Queen to locate the missing Walter. Overhearing Mathew's request, Ellery Queen (Ralph Bellamy), the inspector's son and a friend of Walter's, decides to conduct his own search.
5. Ellery Queen and The Murder Ring (1941) - Ralph Bellamy - Mrs. Augusta Stack, the irascible benefactor of the Stack Memorial Hospital, asks police Inspector Queen to investigate the hospital's medical director, Dr. Janney. Inspector Queen asks his son Ellery (Ralph Bellamy), an amateur sleuth and detective fiction writer, to look into the case, so Ellery feigns throat trouble and is admitted to the hospital as a patient. Ellery then sends for his secretary, Nikki Porter, to serve as his nurse.
Bellamy's final appearance in this series. Loosely adapted from The Dutch Shoe Mystery.