Cast & Crew
Lewis D. Collins
After Ellery Queen helps his father Inspector Queen with a case involving the robbery of a $50,000 pearl necklace, he leaves for a well-deserved vacation in Spanish Cape, California. In Spanish Cape, Walter Godfrey's relatives, who have gathered in his seaside mansion, quarrel with one another. During an evening stroll, Stella Godfrey is abducted and her uncle, David Kummer, disappears. The next morning Ellery and Judge Macklin arrive and discover Stella tied up in the cottage they have rented. They take her home just in time to observe Mrs. Godfrey discover the body of John Marco, who had been flirting with Stella earlier. Mrs. Godfrey reveals to Sheriff Moley that all the guests hope to break the will of her late aunt Sophie, a millionaire who left all her money to a companion. Stella urges Ellery to solve the case, but Macklin discourages him. Moley's suspicion is drawn first to Mrs. Godfrey until Ellery points out the flaws in his reasoning. After news of George Munn's death, all the remaining relatives gather together for dinner at Moley's request. Leslie Cort announces that he and Stella have ended their engagement. Tiller, the butler, reveals that Munn had abused his wife, turning Moley's suspicions to Mrs. Munn. When Cort is found dead, Moley turns his suspicions to Stella. Macklin at last urges Ellery to solve the case. That night Stella obeys the orders in an anonymous note and goes to the pavilion at midnight, only to see Laura Constable fall to her death. Ellery then discovers that Cort and the housemaid, Pitts, had planned to elope. He sets a trap for the killer, who tries to strangle Stella. The murderer is revealed to be Kummer, who planned to eliminate all his relatives in order to become sole heir to Sophie's fortune. He pretended to be kidnapped but came ashore from the island where he was hiding at high tide to kill his victims and the murders drove him insane. The mystery solved, Ellery and Stella embrace.
Lewis D. Collins
Jack La Rue
Contemporary publicity and a news item in Daily Variety indicate that some scenes were shot on location in Laguna, CA. This was the first film to feature the exploits of fictional detective Ellery Queen, who has since been portrayed many times on film and on television. Among the films featuring the detective are Republic's sequel to The Spanish Cape Mystery, entitled The Mandarin Mystery, and a Columbia series. That series begand with the 1940 film Ellery Queen, Master Detective, starring Ralph Bellamy, and ended with the 1942 film Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen, starring William Gargan. From 1975-76, Jim Hutton and David Wayne starred in the television series The Adventures of Ellery Queen.