Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Confound It!"

A Boxed-Set Review:
Nero Wolfe Season 2

Nero Wolfe, the Montenegro born detective and resturantor, was created by author Rex Stout, and featured in books and stories spanning the 1930's to 70's. In 1936 a Nero Wolfe movie, staring Edward Arnold in the title role and featuring a young Rita Hayworth, was released presumable with the intent to make more, but no film series ever materialized. Around the time of my birth Nero Wolfe came to television, but I don't believe it was all the popular as it disappeared soon after. Then in 1999 A&E made its own Nero Wolfe tele-film, staring Maury Chaykin as the agoraphopic super-sleuth, and Timothy Hutton as his wise-cracking, ladies man assistant Archie Goodwin. That tele-film spawned two seasons of this unique, delightful, and very stylized television program. While a small core of regulars play the same characters on every episode in which they appear, the program also features a large repertory company, including James Tolkan and the late George Plimpton, who appear as different characters throughout the series. The pace is leisurely and the dialogue wity, its smart and refreshing entertainment and I'm sad they didn't make more. Comes highly recommended.

Note on Boxed-set: Two part episodes are presented in TV movie format as originally aired.


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