Mystery Net Community Mystery Greats Nero Wolfe
We're curious if any other mystery buffs are addicted to Rex Stout.
Is Wolfe truly an olympus of detection - compared with say, Poirot or
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Thank you for the information. I will look for this showing I think Nero Wolfe and Archie are the best characters in mystery fiction. Which leads me to ask: Has anyone out there found a site to get biographical information about mystery writers? I'm particularly interested in Richard Lockridge.
Well, I've seen it, and they didn't do too bad of a job. There's no Theodore, but the orchids make a couple of appearances. And it looks like the same set(for the roof) that they used for the TVLand series with William Conrad. There's a couple of goofs, you'll see them right off. I will say this, they're in the first few minutes. Chaykin did a great job of Wolfe's angry side, but alas, he had no accent, other than American. Certainly nowhere near Montanegran. Well, judge for yourself, I enjoyed it, to the extent that it was a Nero Wolfe.
In case you haven't seen the new A & E TV-movie based on Stout's "The Golden Spiders," beware that this is a spoiler.
OK. I loved it! Timothy Hutton was the very essence of the outrageous, brash, well-dressed Archie. Maury Chaykin did not impress me in his early scenes, and then, as the story wound on, he really grew on me. His voice and delivery captured the power of the musical instrument that was Wolfe's voice. And Saul Rubinek was inspired casting as Saul Panzer. The only casting choices that struck me as odd were:
1) The actor playing Orrie Cather; not handsome enough.
2) Purley Stebbins cast as a balding older man, older than Cramer? Come now. And a Homicide detective would not be wearing a uniform.
3) The insertion of a black character among the extortion gang. Criminal gangs wouldn't have been integrated, not in 1952 (are they nowadays?).
We should also be grateful for two decisions the producers made: to leave the story set in 1952, and to let it run two hours instead of trying to cram it into 60 or even 90 minutes.
Yes, but what about the glass of beer Fritz brought in to Wolfe early on???? There was beer already poured in!!!!! And I wish they would have shown the painting with the peephole, that would have been great.
From what I've read here and elsewhere, A & E has spent considerable money on the sets with an eye to doing more TV-movies. With any luck (and good ratings), we'll get the peephole, the kitchen, the back entrance leading to (I think) 34th St., and maybe even the kidding between Fritz and Archie.
I think they captured the spirit of the series, which was the important thing. Something about the way Tim Hutton walked, the way he rapped the listing of the Refugee office on the building directory, the look on his face which said he didn't take Wolfe's tantrums seriously -- that was the right spirit.
I, too, watched "The Golden Spiders" TV movie on A&E, but not with any great hope that it would capture the spirit of Wolfe's characters and setting. After the William Conrad-Lee Horsley abominations (where Wolfe actually set Archie up with one of the female costars), I don't have a high opinion of television's ability to adapt anything.
So when I saw "Spiders," I was pleasantly surprised to see how closely the movie hewed to the original story. Timothy Hutton caught Archie's cockiness perfectly, and Saul Rubinek did a nice job as Saul Panzer. Fred and Fritz also were close to the mark.
But the other regulars weren't cast well: Maury Chaykin bellowed too loudly and too often to be Wolfe. if Bill Smitrovich (Cramer) is Irish, I'll eat my shamrock, Purley was too old, and Orrie wasn't handsome and vain enough. And where was Theodore? Visiting his sister?
And that brownstone -- wasn't that the Vanderbilt townhouse on Park Avenue? Wolfe would have to have the cleaning crew in there every day, not just once a week. But then name one TV show that accurately portrays the housing that its characters can really afford. (OK, Roseanne. But that's it.)
If A&E makes more Wolfe movies, could we please have one with Lily Rowan in it? And could we get Sela Ward to play her?
My very longwinded two cents' worth.
Total fan of Nero Wolfe. He should certainly be listed among the Greats here.
Regarding TGS by A&E the comments are favorable throughout Wolfe land, boards everywhere, including A&E's, Wolfe World, Onelist NeroWolfe Group, Yahoo Nero Wolfe Club.
A few quibbles noticed by many (front door and beer in glass most common). Most liked all the casting except Orrie.
Hey visit us at "NERO WOLFE CLUB" on Yahoo. We have regular chats in the "conference room" including audio if you have a mike. Lotsa pictures, including some from the 1960's Italian Nero Wolfe productions, recipes, active message board,links, etc.
Promoting all things Wolfian,
Bill (psibill many places)
Mystery Net Community Mystery Greats Nero Wolfe