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The Mandarin Mystery ()

directed by
featuring Eddie Quillan, Charlotte Henry, Rita La Roy, Wade Boteler, Franklin Pangborn

There was some novelty value in the fact that an actor whose initials were E.Q. was cast as intellectual sleuth Ellery Queen in Republic's The Mandarin Mystery. That actor was Eddie Quillan, who though a talented and appealing performer was woefully miscast as Queen. The story, based on the Ellery Queen novel The Chinese Orange Mystery, is set in motion by a crook who steals a $50,000 stamp, which results in two murders -- both committed in impenetrably locked rooms. The primary suspect is Jo Temple (Charlotte Henry), the original possessor of the stamp. Falling in love with Jo, Ellery sets about to retrieve the stolen goods and solve the murders. Perhaps realizing that Eddie Quillan could never be taken seriously in the leading role, Republic opted to play The Mandarin Mystery for laughs -- another big mistake. Originally released at 63 minutes, the film is currently available only in its 54-minute TV-reissue form. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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