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
(41 previous messages)
Nero Wolfe is a true thinking man's detective with a penchant for staying out of the fray. Bruce could be a good Archie, I have enjoyed his acting for years. The best Wolfe would have to be Orson Wells. The TV series, or maybe it was just a movie, proved this, and Lee Horsley (TV's Matt Houston) played Archie, and did a fine job. All in allm, I think Wolfe is best left to the page, he is an enjoyable read, but not very interesting to watch on the whole.
Is Goldsborough (or anyone) planning to write a new Wolfe novel? I love re-reading the old stories, but a new one would be a treat. Also, even though I'm a Bruce Willis fan, I can't imagine him as Archie. I always see Archie as less hard-edged than Willis. I also don't think that Jackie Gleason would have made a good Wolfe. He was an excellent actor, but I don't see him playing the high-browed pomposity necessary for Wolfe. Welles would have been perfect. Conrad did okay in the series. The problem there was with the scripts. But I agree that Wolfe is meant for the pages, not the samll screen. The big screen is a different story. There have been movies, like LA Confidential and The Usual Suspects, that prove that period, hard-boil detective movies can succeed. I think a good Wolfe script in this genre could be written. But that get's us back to casting. How about one of the Baldwin brothers as Archie?
James Earl Jones would be a great Nero Wolfe!!!!!--Yes there are lots of issues but he absolutely captures the feel. Sean Connery with a lot of padding--or Anthony Hopkins, if he could do Nixon he can do anything--would be great. Horstly was a good Archie--that role made me watch him for years. I can see Tom Selleck. I can even--stretch your imagination--see Matthew Perry from Friends. What Archie needs is sexiness, confidence, humour and a certain amount of humility.
I love the idea of Matt Perry as Archie, but I would love to see the original sets, clothing and buildings, architecture, etc. I want to see Archie out dancing (at lunch time) with one of his belles. Who was his girlfriend that he seemed to be in love with?
Marilyn B. wrote:
<< Who was his girlfriend that he seemed to be in love with? >>
She was Lily Rowan, a very wealthy (Archie used the expression "well-heeled and playful") woman who was involved in the early _Some Buried Caesar_ case. It's in that novel that she nicknames Archie "Escamillo". She turns up or is mentioned in nearly all the novels. As an aside, she was also probably the only woman who ever kissed Wolfe, at least during his New York years. (See _In the Best Families_.)
<<She turns up or is mentioned in nearly all the novels.>>
She's not an important character at the beginning; _In the Best Families_ is only the third book in which she appears. After that she's fairly regular, though.
Even though I love Nero Wolfe and Archie and Saul and Fred and Lon..... I do not think that Wolfe mysteries are very intriguing. Now, don't get me wrong, I own almost all the Nero Wolfe novels ever published, but, I did not buy them because they were good mysteries, I just happen to like the writing style of Rex Stout and narration of Archie. But, as far as quality of mystery goes I would give Rex Stout say 4 out of 10.
Yeah, I gotta admit it too. I grew up on Wolfe and Archie, and nobody admires 'em more than I do . . . but the style, the atmosphere, the dialogue is why we read and reread the Wolfe stories. The puzzle plotting was rarely of the dazzling kind where you smack your forehead and say "Why didn't I see that?", the kind you find in Ellery Queen or John Dickson Carr. Stout was a master of making things happen, as I wrote in an earlier post, but rarely did he use the real sleight-of-hand stuff. (Some exceptions are his novelettes "The Gun with Wings", "The Squirt and the Monkey", and "Die like a Dog", all from the '50s.)
Since both of you kind of tiptoed around the main reason the puzzle/challenge to the reader aspect of the Wolfe novels is less than compelling, I guess it's up to me. Stout cheated! Frequently and flagrantly. He hid things from the reader and then sprung them out of left field in the final reckoning. Unlike Carr, say, or (today) Ed Hoch and to a certain extent (in some of his shorter non-Nameless work) Bill Pronzini, Stout did not play fair with the reader. I can think of only one Wolfe novel that can even remotely be called a fair-play mystery -- "Gambit." The characters, though. There was no cheating the reader in that respect.
Mystery Net Community Mystery Greats Nero Wolfe