Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Ellery Queen’s Penthouse Mystery (1942)

Ventriloquist Gordon Cobb (Noel Madison) is hired by the Chinese to secretly bring jewels to the US to raise funds to feed the hungry, yes that's right a ventriloquist. However on arrival in New York he vanishes and is later found dead in a chest. The vent's daughter Sheila (Ann Doran) brings Ellery Queen (Ralph Bellamy) and Nikki (Margaret Lindsay) in to help out.

There are many suspects in this complicated case including Cobb's manager (Russell Hicks), Cobb's Chinese contact (Anna May Wong) and the mysterious Count Brett (Edward Ciannelli)...

It is a bright and breezy crime film with a dose of dodgy racial stereotypes. Unexceptional but enjoyable. Ellery and Nikki spend half the film arguing but as fans of Ellery Queen movies will know, that's quite normal.