Other media

TO OTHER  PAGES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Ellery Queen, Don't Look Behind You    b a c k

NBC,  11/19/1971 or 11/11/1971
96 minutes
Producer: Leonard J.Ackerman
Executive producer: Edward J. Montagne
Director: Barry Shear
Screenplay from EQ-novel: Ted Leighton
Music: Jerry Fielding
EQ: Peter Lawford
Inspector Queen: Harry Morgan

Sgt.Velie: Bill Zuckert
Dr. Edward Cazalis: E.G. Marshall
Mrs. Cazalis: Coleen Gray
Celeste Phillips: Stephanie Powers
Police Commissioner: Morgan Sterne,
Christy: Skye Aubrey

remained off the home screen for thirteen years. Universal Pictures prepared a 2 hour pilot for a new series. The pilot never became a series because it was aced out by Rock Hudson's new show, McMillan and Wife. Both were vying to join the NBC Mystery Theater which also featured McCloud and Columbo.

Originally announced as Catch me if you can this easily forgettable murder mystery has famed detective taking over police-baffling Hydra case. Relationship between Lawford and Morgan starts out well but disappears as film progresses. E.G. Marshall plays a consulting psychiatrist who has an agenda himself and Coleen Gray his wife. Stefanie Powers is wasted as a suspect that gets involved with Ellery.

Peter LawfordHarry Morgan

The casting of Ellery is preposterous: Lawford plays him as an over aged, mod "Swinging London" hipster. Harry Morgan, well-suited as the long-suffering Dad, has been rewritten as a long-suffering uncle. Thus resolving the difference in accents & age between the two actors.
Edward J. Montagne, executive producer, said this about his choice of actors: "I had to go to a slightly older man for Queen, because young actors just don't play well in that role. Well, Lawford is too old to have a father in the police department."
So, for this television rendering of Queen, he had an uncle on the force instead of father. The famous sleuth may also be a little flashier than most fans remember him.
"He's a bon vivant, an attractive man. He lives in a smart apartment with a lot of girls around."

The plot structure of  Cat of Many Tails is present here, but all of the story's subtleties and insights are tossed away.

It didn't help that the connection between the crimes, although clever, was revealed halfway through the movie. Since there are only two viable suspects, one of which is much too obvious, it doesn't take deduction to figure out the killer’s identity.

The script was written by Richard Levinson and William Link. They changed the billing to "Ted Leighton" because they disapproved of changes made while they were vacationing in Europe.

 Production still from "Ellery Queen, Don't Look Behind You" (L to R) Director Barry Shear, Stephanie Powers and Peter Lawford(L to R) Peter Lawford, Stephanie Powers and director Barry Shear
Above: Production stills from Ellery Queen, Don't Look Behind You with director Barry Shear, Stephanie Powers and Peter Lawford.


(1) IMDb
(2) Modcinema

Additional video & audio sources 
(1) Full Movie YouTube

Page first published on Feb 19. 2018 
Last updated Oct 20. 2018 

Previous list...     b a c k     Next list...

Introduction | Floor Plan | Q.B.I. | List of Suspects | Whodunit?  | Q.E.D. | Kill as directed | New | Copyright 

© MCMXCIX-MMXVIII   Ellery Queen, a website on deduction. All rights reserved.