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Columbia's NERO WOLFE


Ray Faiola
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So I finally saw MEET NERO WOLFE with Edward Arnold and Lionel Stander. Supposedly, the second entry, THE LEAGUE OF FRIGHTENED MEN, is lost. I assume Columbia's distribution rights expired and reverted to Stout estate decades ago. But has anybody actually seen FRIGHTENED MEN or has it, in fact, vanished?

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Someone from Wales has written a lengthy post on it on IMDb. At first I thought the writer was gleaning criticisms from reviews or the original script without having seen the film, but it does appear that he/she has seen it.

 

Did you view MEET NERO WOLFE on a DVD or by screening a print? Movies Unlimited sells a DVD of it, and I'm wondering what the quality of that edition is like.

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> {quote:title=RayFaiola wrote:}{quote}

> So I finally saw MEET NERO WOLFE with Edward Arnold and Lionel Stander. Supposedly, the second entry, THE LEAGUE OF FRIGHTENED MEN, is lost. I assume Columbia's distribution rights expired and reverted to Stout estate decades ago. But has anybody actually seen FRIGHTENED MEN or has it, in fact, vanished?

>

Hi Ray,

 

Apparently it isn't "lost", just hard to find.

I still haven't seen it, but would like to.

 

The AFI Catalogue of Feature Films, 1931-1940 indicates "Print Viewed" in their entry on the movie.

And I believe The Library of Congress has a print.

 

A check into random issues of The B.I.B. Books (1971, 1978, & 1987) confirms it was never available to TV, at least not from 1971 onward.

 

And this doesn't necessarily confirm anything either way, but there is an entry for the movie in Leonard Maltin's "Classic Movie Guide" book.

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>>Someone from Wales has written a lengthy post on it on IMDb. At first I thought the writer was gleaning criticisms from reviews or the original script without having seen the film, but it does appear that he/she has seen it.

 

That user has a history of claiming to see "lost" films through the courtesy of an unnamed millionaire film collector. Try a google search with his user name and the words "lost films."

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I got a DVD-R, which appeared to be taken from a 35mm print. Based on audio changes, it was assembled in 20 minute segments. There was no Columbia logo and the End Title picture portion (only) was replaced with a generic "The End", which meant it was probably one of the reissues a la THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING.

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I would love to see these movies. I like old fashioned mysteries; like Edward Arnold. Oddly, I've not read any of Rex Stout's many books. I keep meaning to. Just never get around to it. Any fans out there. Should I make the effort?

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>>That almost has to be ole Quasimodo McGillicuddy...

 

I've seen your name on the Yuku Classic Horror Film Boards so I know that you know of whom I speak. :)

 

I've deliberately not referred to his user name, just to avoid possibly breaking the rules here. But I am sure that with all of his suspect reviews and his presuming that he's conned us all, he is the man who laughs while posting.

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I'm more on the Yuku Scarlet Street boards than the Classic Horror ones. Lots of people don't cotton to me over there.

The name I used for this friend of John Beresford Tipton was actually coined by my friend John Soister for a satirical article he wrote for a magazine I edit. I can't take credit for it. And I used it because it amused me - wasn't aware that it might be rule-breaking to use his "real" name.

He's actually quite infamous in classic film circles. He might be laughing but he's also somewhat of a joke.

(But good grief... what if he's on the level!?)

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Okay, to clear up any misconceptions: Sony (i.e., Columbia) still owns both Wolfe features and has material on both. I've suggested releasing them as a double feature DVD and it's under consideration. Needless to say, any DVD or VHS of MEET NERO WOLFE is assuredly a bootleg.

 

Mike Schlesinger

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>>He's actually quite infamous in classic film circles. He might be laughing but he's also somewhat of a joke. (But good grief... what if he's on the level!?)

 

Yes, I'd love to believe him, but he does rightfully have skeptics. He wrote an IMDb PM to me almost a decade ago, claimed that a mutual friend who wanted to remain anonymous had suggested that he contact me. He commented favorably on a few of my user comments over there, and insisted that if I wanted to keep in touch, to use an email address that he included in the PM.

 

I wrote back in a PM, just mentioning that I'd prefer to know the identity of the person that supposedly made the suggestion before I provide an email address.

 

He wrote back all huffy, telling me that he didn't trust the IMDb PM form of communication and that since I could not follow his instructions that I was to never contact him again. That was enough for me - and i didn't even know about his questionable reviews yet.

 

>>I'm more on the Yuku Scarlet Street boards than the Classic Horror ones.

 

You and I had an exchange going on a while back on the Scarlet Street boards. I wrote in the western forum about the then upcoming release of the Boetticher set from Sony, including a link to the info. You were more pleased to read about the "upcoming" Peter Lorre set which was not expected to be released before 2010 and we're almost halfway through the year and I've yet to see a street date for it.

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> {quote:title=Precode wrote:}{quote}

> Okay, to clear up any misconceptions: Sony (i.e., Columbia) still owns both Wolfe features and has material on both. I've suggested releasing them as a double feature DVD and it's under consideration. Needless to say, any DVD or VHS of MEET NERO WOLFE is assuredly a bootleg.

>

> Mike Schlesinger

>

Hi Mike,

Great to see you on here!

Come back more often!

 

I'm very much in favor of a DVD of the Nero Wolfe Columbia features. I hope it will happen.

 

musicalnovelty (I'm sure you know who this must be!)

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