Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet Nero Wolfe


I posted a snapshot of this 1-sheet poster some months back, but wasn't too happy with it. So when my step-daughter was in town over Christmas, I corralled her into taking some shots with her fancy camera (Thanks Tracy!).



I'm still waiting to see this 1936 film, based at least in part on the first Wolfe novel, Fer-de-lance. It's reportedly not-too-true to Wolfe and Archie, but a decent movie nonetheless. One attraction is a young Rita Hayworth, then billed as Rita Cansino (but not on the poster).  There's a pretty good piece on this flick on Wikipedia. Next week I'll post some posters from the 1937 film version of The League of Frightened Men.

Not acquainted with Nero Wolfe? It's never too late. Between 1934 and 1975 Rex Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories, and I've enjoyed them all more than once. In fact, just thinking about them makes me want to start the series over again. It just so happens that the first two books are now available in one handy volume.

12 comments:

Deka Black said...

Wow! Seeing Rita Hayworth is always a wonderful thing!

David Cranmer said...

I agree with Deka.. and Nero Wolfe too? Say no more, let me know when and where you find this flick. I'll have to give it a look.

Richard Prosch said...

Hmmm...I may have to take your advice and meet Mr. Wolfe. Thanks for the reminder!

Richard R. said...

I've not seen this one either, Evan, but I'm always a little worried when they play these things for laughs. It IS time for me to re-read one of the books, though. There never seems to be enough time.

Richard Heft said...

Lionel Stander as Archie Goodwin gives film history its most spectacular piece of miscasting ever. Jesus, he is AWFUL!

George said...

Art Scott must be loving this!

Anonymous said...

I have fond memories (not many engendered by the film itself) of finally having a chance to see this, many years ago. I was in the company of Geoff Bradley (CADS) at a revival showing at the South Bank Centre Film Institute in London. Yes, It's pretty awful, though I'd bet Arnold made a better Wolfe than Walter Connolly of Frightened Men (still haven't seen it). Lionel Standar, as universally proclaimed, was dreadful.
Art Scott

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

It was a turkey, all right, and Stander as a goofy, comic-relief sidekick didn't help matters.
The Wolfe novels are (were?) being reprinted as trade paperbacks with two books per volume, and in order(1/2, 3/4,c). I reread the first six that way, but when the publisher cut me off I didn't keep up with them.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

It was a turkey, all right, and Stander as a goofy, comic-relief sidekick didn't help matters.
The Wolfe novels are (were?) being reprinted as trade paperbacks with two books per volume, and in order(1/2, 3/4,c). I reread the first six that way, but when the publisher cut me off I didn't keep up with them.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

That's a gorgeous-looking 1-sheet!

Richard R. said...

Agree with all about Stander as a bad casting job! Not too sure about the character actor they chose to play Fritz, either.

Tough Jim Gaston said...

I saw both films at the Jack Tar Bouchercon in the 80s. Cap'n Bob and I made our infamous journey from Portland to San Francisco (of which he wrote about in one of his zines) to attend. I believe he was out doing something fannish while I watched the movies. It was a long time ago but I recall "Meet Nero Wolfe" as rather enjoyable. It wasn't really wolfe and Archie but it was kind of funny and moved along pretty well. Arnold wan't Wolfe but he was entertaining. The less said about Stander (in any movie) the better. The League of Frightened Men just sort of dragged on, though. I wouldn't mind seeing Meet Nero Wolfe agin.