Meet Nero Wolfe

Only two Nero Wolfe films were made, the best and first: Meet Nero Wolfe by Columbia. Edward Arnold portrayed “Rex Stout's super-intellectual Wolfe... a well-to-do, lazy, and very fat detective - but a shrewd one. Most of his cases he solved at home, with his faithful handyman Archie doing all the necessary footwork. He was also devoted to two basic hobbies: raising hothouse orchids and eating gourmet food. Obviously the role was made-to-measure for Arnold, since the personality traits not only overlapped into Arnold's own, but also into some of his previous movie roles.
“The film was a thoroughly satisfying mystery, unusually generous in its supply of suspects, and in those days of relaxed, pre-Marlowe detecting, was able to milk even the simplest ingredients for maximum suspense. The arrival of a ticking brown paper parcel (which may or may not conceal a bomb) was a beautifully built sequence of tension which in these days of ultra-shock and sensation wouldn't be considered worthy of inclusion. Lionel Stander was ideal as Archie, one of those rare roles which provides the (allegedly) necessary comic relief while keeping the plot moving forward.” --W.K. Everson, “The Detective in Film”

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