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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)

Being the most pure mystery of the bunch, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is arguably the most enjoyable entry of the four-film franchise, even if the leads’ antics are entirely rote by now. The important thing is, they still amuse, and go out on a high note. It’s kind of a shame there weren’t […]

Nancy Drew … Trouble Shooter (1939)

Nancy Drew’s third big-screen adventure gets under way when her lawyer father (John Litel) is alerted to come help Matt (Aldrich Bowker), a crabby old farmer accused of murdering a neighbor. Matt says the sheriff is “a gol darn liar.” Mr. Drew frames their sudden getaway as a farm vacation so Nancy won’t stick her […]

Nancy Drew … Reporter (1939)

As the title so blatantly gives away, Nancy Drew … Reporter finds America’s sweetheart sleuth giving journalism a try. Not for altruistic reasons, but for the local newspaper’s prize of “$50 and a gold medal.” Leave it to Nancy (Bonita Granville) to pull a switcheroo so she can cover a front-page murder investigation. Ignoring all […]

Nancy Drew — Detective (1938)

In her first screen outing, Nancy Drew — Detective, Carolyn Keene’s all-American teen she-Sherlock (Bonita Granville) is out to solve the sudden disappearance of an old biddy who was due to donate a bundle of cash to the local girls’ club to build a swimming pool. And Nancy sure as shit wants that swimming pool! […]

Reading Material: Short Ends 6/21/17

Similar in structure to fellow McFarland & Company releases Now a Terrifying Motion Picture! and Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them, yet by a different author, Ron Miller’s Mystery Classics on Film: The Adaptation of 65 Novels and Stories provides a thorough breakdown of the changes that short stories and novels have […]

13 Frightened Girls (1963)

This is producer/director William Castle’s second-best movie with the number 13 in its title. Its premise is that Candy (Kathy Dunn), an American diplomat’s daughter who attends an exclusive boarding school, becomes a spy. She’s 16 years old. I point that out because not once, but twice, does Candy throw herself at older men, in […]

Airport 1975 (1974)

Second in the Airport quadrilogy, Airport 1975 puts cross-eyed stewardess Nancy (Karen Black, The Pyx) in the pilot’s seat when the 747 on which she serves coffee, tea and boilermakers accidentally collides head-on with a tiny, twin-engine plane. That’s the fate that befalls the D.C.-to-L.A. commercial flight, disrupted by the sudden, rear-projected and laughably out-of-scale […]