Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen (1942) Poster

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5/10
Ellery Queen does his patriotic duty
gridoon201917 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A Dutch jewel merchant is killed and Sergeant Velie (who has probably his biggest part in the series here) arrests the killer. But while he's taking him to New York by train, he is knocked unconscious and his prisoner is taken from him. This turns out to be the work of Nazi agents, who are after some diamonds that are also travelling to New York, inside a mummy case! Velie gets suspended from the police force, and Ellery & Nikki decide to help him get his job back (and a promotion) by solving the case and giving him the credit. "Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen", the last entry in the series, is really more of a WWII-era morale-booster than a mystery, with the Nazis being menacing at the start, bumbling fools by the end. But it's also probably one of the better entries in the series, mostly thanks to an actionful climax set at a health club that operates as the front for the nest of the Nazi spies. Cult actress Gale Sondergaard, who gets top billing below the series regulars, has only 2 scenes. ** out of 4.
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7/10
Ellery helps the Dutch Resistance
binapiraeus8 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The last one of the classic 'Ellery Queen' movie series naturally had to have some political background in it, due to the time of its making - and it tells us a LOT more than many other war-related movies of the time: through a 'simple detective story', we learn just HOW big the Fifth Column in the US really was; and in what high positions some of its members were...

It all starts out like a 'usual' case of diamond robbery - which Ellery and Nikki want to solve for their (and our) old friend Velie, whom Ellery's father has just sacked from the police force for one more blunder the poor guy had made. But, while following the first hot track, in the shape of mysterious Mr. Gillette (Gilbert Roland, none less!), Nikki is mistaken for "Mrs. Gestapo" - which gives them a hunch that there might be Nazis involved in this case.

And then Ellery finally learns that the money for the stolen diamonds which had been smuggled into the country in an ancient Egyptian coffin is to be used to aid the Dutch Resistance fighters; and so, of course, he risks literally everything to help the cause, until he's confronted at last with the German Nazis and their American stooges in their well-covered hideout, a bathing house. And there he and Nikki learn what the Germans want the diamonds for: to construct more high precision weapons, of course, for their megalomaniac goals... How lucky for our heroes that the good old US Marines soon come for help and make mincemeat of the Nazis, and the diamonds are recovered to serve their initial aim!

To fans of the 'average' Ellery Queen detective stories this may seem somewhat unusual (although in the "Penthouse Mystery" he had also helped the people of a nation that suffered from - Japanese - Nazism: the Chinese!); but at a close look, it's perfectly possible to turn an 'ordinary' robbery case into a wartime adventure - which isn't AT ALL far-fetched or exaggerated. OK, the Germans are portrayed a bit like caricatures (a fashion of the time, as can be very well understood if you consider that millions of American soldiers were fighting them at that moment over in Europe, and the people at home of course wanted to believe that those 'Krauts' really WERE as dumb as they were shown in the movies...) - but what strikes me most about this picture is that a 'simple' crime movie actually DARED to deal with the VERY serious matter of the Fifth Column in a way that not even war films or other so-called 'flagwavers' did!
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5/10
Ellery Goes to war
bkoganbing23 June 2013
The Ellery Queen series for Columbia Pictures concluded with Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen and I will say that it was much to their regret. The famed writer detective catches some Nazi spies operating out of a health club in Manhattan. Must have been in the Yorkville area.

It all starts with James Burke escorting prisoner Louis Donath on a train where William Gargan and Margaret Lindsay are also returning from a vacation. He locks Donath in the drawing room handcuffed and gets slugged and then finds a dead prisoner. Someone was afraid Donath would squeal for a deal in custody.

Donath had a lot to squeal about. There was a shipment of diamonds to be smuggled with an Egyptian mummy consigned to a gallery owned by Gale Sondergaard and her late husband who got late courtesy of Donath. It all leads to a health club managed by Sig Ruman in his best Teutonic accent and manner.

In the end the Marines save the day. Nice to know they're around to be sent for.

Patriotic in its time, the climax now looks quite a bit silly and very dated. Still the mystery itself was nicely put together.
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