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Nero Wolfe - The Complete Classic Whodunit Series
Nero Wolfe - The Complete Classic Whodunit Series
Actors: Maury Chaykin, Timothy Hutton, Bill Smitrovich, Mimi Kuzyk, Colin Fox
Director: Bill Duke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     24hr 56min

Like Sherlock Holmes and Watson before them, the brilliant but curmudgeonly Nero Wolfe and his streetwise sidekick Archie Goodwin are crime's greatest nemeses. With Nero preferring to solve crimes at home amid his orchid c...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Maury Chaykin, Timothy Hutton, Bill Smitrovich, Mimi Kuzyk, Colin Fox
Director: Bill Duke
Creators: Mike Fash, Delia Fine, Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe, Susan Murdoch, Paul Monash, Rex Stout
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 04/25/2006
Original Release Date: 04/22/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 04/22/2001
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 24hr 56min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 8
SwapaDVD Credits: 8
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 23
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Most Satisfactory
Volatile Demirep | NH, USA | 03/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The "Nero Wolfe" TV series (2001-2002) is brilliant - casting, colors, sound and scripts. Producers Michael Jaffe, Timothy Hutton, and Howard Braunstein did a superb job bringing Rex Stout's stories to the screen. Maury Chaykin, as Nero Wolfe, and Timothy Hutton, as Archie Goodwin, along with an excellent supporting cast - Colin Fox, Bill Smitrovich, Conrad Dunn, Kari Matchett, Saul Rubinek, R.D. Reid, Fulvio Cesere, Trent McMullen, and Francie Swift to name a few - do an exceptional job portraying Stout's cherished characters.

The "Nero Wolfe" DVDs have some extras (though fans of the series would be happier with more). Included with the set are: "The Golden Spiders," the 2000 TV movie which led to the series, "The Making of Nero Wolfe," a short documentary which offers interviews with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and others involved in the production of this marvelous series, and a "bonus" widescreen version of "The Silent Speaker." To include the widescreen "bonus" of "The Silent Speaker" as an extra is ironic since all of the the episodes were shot in widescreen and should have been reproduced as such on the DVDs. And to make the set truly "mega" it would have been most gratifying if the European versions of the episodes were included in the set.

The producers choose some of Rex Stout's favorite Nero Wolfe stories for adaptation to the screen. "The Doorbell Rang," directed by Timothy Hutton, is the premier episode of the series. Nero Wolfe takes on "the big fish" J. Edgar Hoover to earn the biggest fee of his career. With the able assistance of Archie Goodwin, his intrepid legman, Wolfe triumphs over the F.B.I., earns his client's admiration (Mrs. Bruner, played by Debra Monk: "Is there anything you can't do?"), and solves a murder for the cops along the way. "Death of a Doxy," "Champagne for One," and "The Mother Hunt" are a few more of the well know Nero Wolfe stories included in the series. It's a great sorrow to fans of both this magnificent series and Rex Stout's wonderful books that the show was abruptly canceled before some of the other favorites, such as "In The Best Families" could be adapted for television audiences.

Five Stars plus Five Stars to Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Hutton for giving Nero Wolfe fans a series worthy of Stout's tales.

Witty, intelligent, no wonder A&E killed it
Peter Headland | San Mateo, CA United States | 05/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This series is just a joy from beginning to end. The cast work together well (especially Hutton and Chaykin), the scripts are witty and engage your brain, the sets and locations are impeccably filmed and the DVD transfer is decent. I am normally very much a "watch once" person, but I found myself watching the same episodes over again just to enjoy the "eye-candy" and the subtle nuances of the interactions between the characters.

In case you don't know, an unusual feature of this series is that the same core actors appear in all the episodes, but some are playing different roles each episode. We found that just added to the fun, but some folks might find it irritating, so be aware. Also look out for the use of colour - the series uses specific shades of green, red, and yellow all the way through.

I don't understand why this complete edition is cheaper than either of the two separate series. Sure, the DVDs are in slim-line cases, but I actually prefer those. The video quality is identical to the more expensive versions (I already had series 1 so I compared the two). Given the many hours of pleasure you will get from it, this complete edition is a fabulous bargain.

If A&E ever release these as widescreen HD DVDs I will likely buy them over again.

The tragedy is that A&E canned the show after the second season, so there will be no more Nero Wolfe."
No Flummery...just Hutton and perfection!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a fan of Rex Stout for a long, long time. One reason I often dislike seeing books made into movies, or at least feel the movie pales when compared to the books, because often people see things differently. So when a beloved set of characters such as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin is brought to film, I automatically cringe, because I am rarely pleased with the results. They tried in the late 70's with Thayer David playing Wolfe and Tom Mason as Archie. Excellent casting, but was a little late. Thayer David, a Sydney Greenstreet type actor, was perfect casting for Wolfe - the 1/7 of a ton genius detective that detects while never leaving him home. Only David was already ill, dying of cancer, so the weight loss and lacking of strength sadly hurt his performance. Later it was redone with William Conrad as Wolfe and too sexy Lee Horsely as Archie. Sorry, the series had Wolfe pacing when expounding to suspects and sitting on the corner of his desk. It made you wonder if the writers ever read Stout's books. So, when
Timothy Hutton stepped into Archie's shoes I had mixed reservations. I love Hutton, son of the brilliant Jim Hutton. While you see a lot of his daddy in him, he is definitely his own man, and cuts a smart style when fleshing out his roles.
So I thought, okay, he would make a good Archie. Then I wondered what about Wolfe? They cast Maury Chaykin. Brilliant! Wow, someone actually loved the books enough to follow them.

A&E is to be commended in letting Hutton run with the series for two seasons. They are to be CONDEMNED for canceling it because they deemed it too expensive to make. Shame on them! The series was a class act all the way. A delightful ensemble cast who changed roles episode to episode gave it a theatre feel.

The costuming is great, the acting divine and the stories - well, I actually KNEW what book they were based on! It was HEAVEN.

utterly adored Jim Hutton in his Ellery Queen series, so when his equally talented son Tim announced he was doing Nero Wolfe I had mixed emotions. Tim is talented; his works speaks of the quality of his career. But so many times when a series of books such as Rex Stout's beloved 1/7 of a ton detective and his wisecracking assistant Archie are put on film, devoted fans of the books cringe at the efforts. It's rare that a series will live up to what you have created in your minds. Very often, they snatch the title, characters names and then they are off-and-running writing their own teleplays. This happened with the Lee Horsley-William Conrad effort back in the early 80s. Dreadful! It little bore a resembled to Stout's books. Conrad's Wolfe actually paced and sat on the edge of his desk - as all fans know Wolfe would NEVER do!!! Off the bat, the rich period detail of this television version done for A&E (the idiots that cancelled it!), is evocative of the same leisurely attention to quality and detail that was done on the elder Hutton's Ellery Queen.

The cast is perfect, the setting of Wolfe's brownstone pulled from my imagination. Even more so, I really recognize the faithful following of the plots of the books!

It's a quality production from start to finish and A&E should hang its head in SHAME for canceling this gem.

The second season set includes:

Disc 1

1) Death of a Doxy
2) The Next Witness
3) Die like a Dog

Disc 2

1) Murder is Corny
2) Motherhunt
3) Poison a la Carte

Disc 3

1) Too Many Clients,
2) Before I Die,
3) Help Wanted - Male

Disc 4

1) The Silent Speaker
2) Cop Killer
3) Immune to Murder

Disc 5

1) The Golden Spiders
2) The Making of Nero Wolfe
3) Silent Speaker (Double Episode

So A&E I thank you for putting out these wonderful episodes so we Archie Addicts can enjoy them again. And go take a flying leap for canceling what is nirvana in detective land. Let's hope A&E one day wakes up and put Tim and the crew back to work!"
Totally worth it
David R. Pattison | Canada | 08/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Well, first I looked up all the episodes that were made, The Complete Classic Whodunit Series has em all, so you'd be better off buying this than buying season one and two, which is the same thing just more money due to seperate purchases. Dont't take my word look it up yourself, google it! As for the content, EXCELLENT, if you like dry, witty, or sarcastic humor, along with murder mysteries and the most appealing class of the early 1900's, this is definatly for you. each episode was WELL worth it.