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Author Topic: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?  (Read 2282 times)
kjrwe
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« on: March 28, 2017, 06:12:20 PM »

On another forum, I was running a whodunit thread, and I'd like to keep up the tradition here.

Please post the titles (and reviews, if you wish) of any whodunits which you saw (films, TV shows), heard (radio plays), and/or read (novels, plays, short stories).

Inverted mysteries titles are welcome as well.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 06:17:35 PM »

Recently I saw four of them:

The Ninth Guest (1934): a group of people (who all know each other) are invited to a party at a penthouse suite, and they start to get murdered off by a serial killer. This one's probably the inspiration for Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

The Black Camel (1931): a Charlie Chan mystery, based on the novel The Black Camel. Very atmospheric story with a good ending.

Eran Trece (1931): the Spanish language version of the novel Charlie Chan Carries On. Unfortunately, the Warner Oland version (also from 1931) is considered to be lost.

Charlie Chan in London (1934): a young man is about to be hanged for the murder of another man. His sister is sure that he's innocent. She asks Charlie Chan to investigate the crime and to find the real killer. Chan is taken to a large isolated mansion, where a number of people are gathered...nice, old-fashioned British-style mystery.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 12:25:04 AM »

Currently watching The Case of the Howling Dog (1934) - the first Perry Mason story to be filmed.

I think that this is by far the best of the 1930s Perry Mason movies. It's a complicated and interesting story with a great ending. Thankfully the film wasn't ruined by nonsense which was introduced into some of the later films, like Perry Mason being a drunkard. This film is well-paced, with snappy dialogue, and a lot of twists/turns. Highly recommended.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 04:01:47 AM »

These next couple of days, I'll be watching several 1930s mysteries based on Mignon Eberhart mystery novels.

Some of Eberhart's stories feature Nurse Sarah Keate (sometimes renamed as Sally Keating in the films), along with detective Lance O'Leary.

The films are generally set in isolated locations (either a house or hotel), and they contain at least one of the following: secret passages, secret rooms, bizarre characters, blackmailers, wills, family matriarchs/patriarchs, etc. The only thing missing from all the films is the portrait with the moving eyes.

The ones I'll be watching are:

The White Cockatoo

While the Patient Slept

Mystery House

Murder by an Aristocrat


I've seen each of these a number of times.

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greenbudgie
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 04:50:42 AM »

I'm glad to see the migration of the whodunit threads onto here. I'm about to start on reading some whodunits and trying to get some of the rarer oldies from my local library stock. Hopefully they will be able to supply me with some they have got on their oldies catalogue from their central archives.

I've begun by attempting to order 'The Invisible Host' which I believe is what the 'The Ninth Guest' film is based upon. I haven't seen the 1934 film yet but I know that you are a fan so that is recommendation enough for me.

I'll run a few of the 'Poirot' DVDs that I have to see if you like the original Agatha Christie stories. Carry on sleuthing.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 08:16:26 PM »

I'm glad to see the migration of the whodunit threads onto here. I'm about to start on reading some whodunits and trying to get some of the rarer oldies from my local library stock. Hopefully they will be able to supply me with some they have got on their oldies catalogue from their central archives.

I've begun by attempting to order 'The Invisible Host' which I believe is what the 'The Ninth Guest' film is based upon. I haven't seen the 1934 film yet but I know that you are a fan so that is recommendation enough for me.

I'll run a few of the 'Poirot' DVDs that I have to see if you like the original Agatha Christie stories. Carry on sleuthing.

Looking forward to hearing from you in the future!  Afro

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greenbudgie
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 05:15:56 AM »

Just to let you know that I am currently running 'The Scarlet Claw' DVD as I had forgotten what a good whodunit this story is. It is of course the 1944 Basil Rathbone film which is an unauthorised Sherlock Holmes tale. There is a good sense of the supernatural going on which of course Holmes does not trust. The solution is fairly well-disguised for those who are watching it for the first time.

The theme is repeated in one of Hallmark's best TV movies of 2002. 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' transfers the 'Scarlet Claw' story from Canada to the East End of London where it is merged into the Jack the Ripper murder case. Matt Frewer is Holmes in this version. I think that both films are a good creepy watch for those who like detective stories.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 09:06:21 PM »

Just to let you know that I am currently running 'The Scarlet Claw' DVD as I had forgotten what a good whodunit this story is. It is of course the 1944 Basil Rathbone film which is an unauthorised Sherlock Holmes tale. There is a good sense of the supernatural going on which of course Holmes does not trust. The solution is fairly well-disguised for those who are watching it for the first time.

The theme is repeated in one of Hallmark's best TV movies of 2002. 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' transfers the 'Scarlet Claw' story from Canada to the East End of London where it is merged into the Jack the Ripper murder case. Matt Frewer is Holmes in this version. I think that both films are a good creepy watch for those who like detective stories.

I watched the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films about 10 years ago. They were well done, but not exactly authentic. They aren't based on the stories and they are set in the wrong time period. Still, as you say, they had some good ideas and endings. I liked Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the leading roles, although I think that Rathbone was better as a bad boy in movies.

For Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I like the first season of the Jeremy Brett episodes. Even though they're from the 80s, they captured the late 1800s very well and they were faithful to the stories. That series went downhill after season one.

I haven't seen that 2002 TV movie. Thanks for the heads up!

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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 04:36:57 AM »

I didn't mind Sherlock Holmes being set in the then contemporary 1940s in a lot of the Basil Rathbone films. Because despite of this Universal's gothic feel still seem to come through in them especially 'The Scarlet Claw.' Holmes doesn't work for me in the current day adaptations.

I note what you say about the first of the Jeremy Brett Holmes series. I will have a look at them in the near future and let you know which I think is the best episode from that volume. I liked the gothic feel of the final series ('Memoirs') but it is really creepy and torturing to see the ill Jeremy Brett dying before our eyes in that series.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 01:26:33 AM »

I didn't mind Sherlock Holmes being set in the then contemporary 1940s in a lot of the Basil Rathbone films. Because despite of this Universal's gothic feel still seem to come through in them especially 'The Scarlet Claw.' Holmes doesn't work for me in the current day adaptations.

I note what you say about the first of the Jeremy Brett Holmes series. I will have a look at them in the near future and let you know which I think is the best episode from that volume. I liked the gothic feel of the final series ('Memoirs') but it is really creepy and torturing to see the ill Jeremy Brett dying before our eyes in that series.

Good point about Jeremy Brett. By the final season, he really looked sick. In fact, he looked like he could barely act.

In the first season, he was full of energy and very hot.  Smiley I need to rewatch those ones again. It's been awhile since I've seen any of them.

I wonder if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote A Scandal in Bohemia in order to ensure that women would read his future literature? Smiley That episode was really well done.

The Solitary Cyclist is a very scary story. Same with The Copper Beeches.

Yup, time for another look, for sure!

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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 05:18:18 AM »

Jeremy Brett was a very attractive man in his younger day. So I'm not surprised that you found him hot in the first series.

'Bohemia' would have been the one where Holmes' love interest was Irene Adler if I remember rightly. There was later a very long Holmes version with the Irene Adler character which had Christopher Lee in it. I don't know about you but I found that boring.

'The Solitary Cyclist' is menacing and that's a really good one. The story had Peter Cushing as Holmes in the 1960s but unfortunately that episode has now been lost.

I am a third of the way through listening to 'More Work For The Undertaker' on audio book. It's a 1948 story by Margery Allingham. Her detective Campion is holed up in a big house full of eccentrics trying to solve a suspicious death. Coffins in the cellar and people going about their business during the night is happening. I am often chuckling at the antics as I listen. It's bizarre and macabre and I recommend it if you haven't already tried that one.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 07:52:55 PM »

Jeremy Brett was a very attractive man in his younger day. So I'm not surprised that you found him hot in the first series.

'Bohemia' would have been the one where Holmes' love interest was Irene Adler if I remember rightly. There was later a very long Holmes version with the Irene Adler character which had Christopher Lee in it. I don't know about you but I found that boring.

'The Solitary Cyclist' is menacing and that's a really good one. The story had Peter Cushing as Holmes in the 1960s but unfortunately that episode has now been lost.

I am a third of the way through listening to 'More Work For The Undertaker' on audio book. It's a 1948 story by Margery Allingham. Her detective Campion is holed up in a big house full of eccentrics trying to solve a suspicious death. Coffins in the cellar and people going about their business during the night is happening. I am often chuckling at the antics as I listen. It's bizarre and macabre and I recommend it if you haven't already tried that one.

I haven't seen a longer version of A Scandal in Bohemia. There would be no reason to stretch out the story more than necessary. The length of the Jeremy Brett episode was just right.

I didn't realize that The Solitary Cyclist had been filmed in the sixties. A pity that this episode is no longer available.

Regarding Margery Allingham: I'm not a big fan. I think that The White Cottage Mystery is a masterpiece (it's a pre-Campion story) and a very tragic story, but somehow those Campion stories didn't appeal to me. I've given them a couple of fair chances. I can't remember what exactly I thought of the novel which you're listening to right now. (By the way, I've never tried an audio book! How are those, anyway?)

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greenbudgie
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 04:34:12 AM »

I will look out for 'The White Cottage Mystery.' I've never read any of Margery Allingham's pre-Campion stories. Her Campion stuff didn't transfer to TV very well I must say. I've just had a very busy couple of days so I haven't been able to listen any further into 'More Work For The Undertaker' as yet.

Do you like audio books? I have some whodunits CDs stacked away. Some I haven't listened to as yet. All contain Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh stories. Both these whodunit writers seem to be popular in the audio book market.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 07:14:47 PM »

I will look out for 'The White Cottage Mystery.' I've never read any of Margery Allingham's pre-Campion stories. Her Campion stuff didn't transfer to TV very well I must say. I've just had a very busy couple of days so I haven't been able to listen any further into 'More Work For The Undertaker' as yet.

Do you like audio books? I have some whodunits CDs stacked away. Some I haven't listened to as yet. All contain Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh stories. Both these whodunit writers seem to be popular in the audio book market.

The White Cottage Mystery is a very sad story, I think.

I watched a bunch of those Campion episodes about 8 years ago or something. They are well done for fans of Campion, in my opinion. Yet you say that those stories didn't translate well to TV, so maybe I'm wrong in assuming that Campion's fans will enjoy the episodes.

I have never heard an audio book, and probably never will (unless I run into eye trouble).

By the way, I did watch Charlie Chan in London again last night. I just love early 1930s British whodunits on the big screen! If only more of the Agatha Christie mysteries had been filmed at the time! Peril at End House, The Sittaford Mystery, Murder at the Vicarage...wishful thinking on my part.

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kjrwe
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 01:07:37 AM »

I've been watching some of the Season One Sherlock Holmes mysteries, the ones starring Jeremy Brett. For an eighties show, they sure paid a lot of attention to capturing the correct time period (no anachronisms). They were faithful to the stories, too. (The later seasons really went downhill.)

The ones I've seen are:

A Scandal in Bohemia - probably one of the best Holmes mysteries out there.

The Solitary Cyclist - probably one of the scariest Holmes mysteries

The Copper Beeches - nice, old-fashioned mystery set in an isolated mansion, with something sinister happening in a locked room. I was especially impressed with Natasha Richardson's acting in this one.

The Norwood Builder - very nice twist ending here.

I plan on watching the following in the next few days:

The Resident Patient - I've seen this one a few times, and each time I get amused at how the doctor and his patient interact with each other.

The Crooked Man - sad story, for sure.

The Naval Treaty - I've seen it before, and yet I can't seem to recall who is the culprit in this one!

After I'm done with these, I will switch back to my beloved 1930s mysteries.  Smiley

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