Ellery Queen

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (250)

  • Brimmer: Something important? Ellery: I don't know. Anyway, Mr. Brimmer, thanks for your offer. I'm sorry it didn't work out. Brimmer: I hope you know you're making a mistake. Ellery: Oh, probably. I make a lot of them.

  • Inspector Queen: (to Ellery) Almost as far-fetched as one of your books. A dying clue, which makes absolutely no sense. Which means of course it's right up your alley.

  • Ellery: Tell me about her. Inspector Queen: Name's, uh, Monica Gray. One of the top fashion designers since the war. Your wife would probably be wearing her fall line. If you were married.

  • Inspector Queen: (as Ellery examines a television) You ever see one of those things before? Ellery: Eh? A few. Inspector Queen: Damn nuisance. Friend of mine has one. People keep dropping in. Ellery: Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. It's just a passing fad.

  • Ellery: You shouldn't be seen in public with me. Gail: Why not? Ellery: Because I'm incredibly stupid.

  • District Attorney: Except now we have no suspects and no leads. Satisfied, Ellery? Ellery: Nah, not really. this is the only case where I spend all my time proving who didn't commit a murder.

  • (Simon Brimmer has requested that Ellery sell him access to his private files, which would be used to create stories for Simon's radio show.) Ellery: Unfortunately, Mr. Brimmer, you're asking me to be a ghost writer. Brimmer: A technicality. Ellery: Not to me. Brimmer: Well, all right then, let's say a very rich ghost. With silk sheets.

  • Ellery: There's so many possibilities. Too many. Inspector Queen: Yeah, like what? Ellery: Well, maybe she was trying to tell us the time of her death. Inspector Queen: Well, we already know that. People on this floor heard a shot around 10:25. Ellery: Well, what was she trying to say, and why both plugs? Was she reaching for the clock cord and did she accidentally pull out the television cord--or was it the other way around? Was she saying something about electricity? About the failure of power! Hmmm. Or was she relating to the television as a piece of furniture; a box, a console, screen? And what about that clock? (Snaps fingers) Wait a minute. Inspector Queen: You got something. Ellery: Very clever, Dad, very shrewd. Inspector Queen: Who, who? Ellery: You. You know I'm supposed to be home, finishing a book, you know I got a deadline to meet, but you drag me up here and you dangle all this catnip in front of me. Inspector Queen: Now, Ellery, I'm not trying-- Ellery: That's it, I'm going home, you're not gonna suck me in this time. Inspector Queen: Son, you're doing me an injustice. Besides, I know you. Let's face it, you're hooked! You can't walk out of here! Ellery: Goodnight, Dad. (exits) Velie: Ah, gee, that's too bad, Inspector. I thought you had him out of the water and into the boat! (Inspector Queen makes a shrugging, "just wait" gesture. Ellery walks back in) Ellery: I was just thinking....

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Notes (69)

  • The character "Tom McKell", played by Monte Markham, is not the only character to have a name changed from the original novel. "Carson McKell" (Ray Milland) was originally "Ashton McKell" and his wife "Marian" (Kim Hunter) was "Lutetia". The murder victim was originally called "Sheila Grey", not "Monica", whilst the family lawyer "Ben Waterson", played by Tim O'Connor, is a conflation of three different lawyers in the book, all with different names. Furthermore, in the book, Ellery Queen doesn'tsolve the murder - he names the wrong man, and his father solves the case.

  • Injoke: The killer in Brimmer's radio mystery is Dr. Flemming. Dr. Flemming was the killer in "Prescription: Murder", the first pilot movie for Columbo and written by Ellery Queen developers Richard Levinson and William Link.

  • The pilot premiered as a Mystery Movie special presentation.

  • Monte Markham is billed as Special Guest Star.

  • In the book this movie was based on, Dane (Tom) McKell did not confront Monica and demand that she stop seeing his father on the day of the murder. Quite some time previously, while trying to find a way to break them up, he himself ended up as Monica's lover, as well. Presumably this idea was considered too sordid for television programming.

  • Monte Markham's character, Tom McKell, was called Dane McKell in the novel, The Fourth Side of the Triangle, on which this episode is based.

  • In the pilot we are introduced to radio mystery star Simon Brimmer played by John Hillerman who would be a recurring character throughout the series.

  • Loosely based on the novel The Fourth Side of the Triangle by Ellery Queen.

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Trivia (14)

  • In the re-enactment of the TV newscast the newsreader refers to television as "your window on the globe." However, this phrase was not heard on the original broadcast.

  • When Monica leaves her dying clue, the outlet she pulls the TV plug out of is three-holed, meaning that it's a grounded plug. Such outlets didn't become standard until 1962.

  • Ellery picks up Monica's framed photo when he examines the murder scene. However, when he puts it down it transforms into a photo of a different woman, wearing a pale blouse and seated on a visible chair.

  • When Simon Brimmer does his radio broadcast about Monica Gray's former lovers, Ellery becomes agitated. His father knew about the men, but did not mention them to Ellery, as none of them could have been guilty. Ellery starts searching for a piece of paper, and exclaims, "Why didn't I really read those files?" The only files we've seen were six months worth of local robberies, and Ellery did, in fact, read them and discover the connecting factor in them. Robbery files would have had no information about Monica's lovers.

  • Trivia: Since the pilot took place in 1947 (the title card read "New York City 1947") and this episode took place on New Year's Eve 1946, the events of this episode takes place before the events in the pilot.

  • Ellery refers to his galpal as "Jenny" instead of "Kitty" when he first knocks on her apartment door.

  • At the end of the episode, when the murderer confesses, Tilda is shown putting her left hand up to her face. The camera shifts to Ellery for a brief moment, then back to a long view of the study. Tilda suddenly is holding her right hand to her face.

  • Frank Flannigan boasts to Inspector Queen that his column is right on the front page of the newspaper--but we had just clearly seen that it was on the third page.

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Allusions (4)

  • Penny: I'm doing my Sonja Henie and you're not even watching. Sonja Henie (1912-1969) was a Norwegian figure skater who won three Olympic gold medals in women's figure skating in 1928, 1932 and 1936. She also won 10 consecutive world championships from 1927 to 1936 and six consecutive European championships from 1931 to 1936.

  • The solution to the murder in this episode bears a strong resemblance to the one offered in Agatha Christie's classic Murder on the Orient Express.

  • Jenny: I'm not cut out for detective business. I'm gonna stick to my press clippings and stop playing Torchy Blaine. Referencing the female reporter who, along with her police detective fiancĂ©e, also solved crimes. The character appeared in nine movies from 1937-39.

  • At the end of the episode the sponsor announces that they're going to sponsor a show starring Ed Sullivan instead of Frank Flannigan. Wise choice. The Ed Sullivan Show ran for over 20 years and was always one of television's highest rated programs during that run.