So when I read this description online I was excited!
It totally gave me NorthangerAbbey vibes as the main character is really into True Crime magazines and decides to take her armchair sleuthing to the next level and investigate the disappearance of a school friend’s sister.
I was like yes this will be a great film to watch, it will totally be a new addition to my Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans! It even has Alicia Silverstone in it, so it contains a #janeaustenbingo
But as I’m sure you all know where this is headed, I watched it and it was not good at all. My sister is more fair in rating it as she thought it was okay, but I thought it was horrible and I would most definitely never watch it again.
Mary Giordano (Alicia Silverstone) is a good Catholic girl. She lost her police officer father when he was killed in the line of duty a few years ago. Since then, her interest in crime has grown and she is obsessed with mystery books and above all the True Crime magazine.
She has been following a case of a killer targeting high school girls and when one of her classmate’s sisters is the next victim, she decides to up her involvement to investigating.
Mary notices a creepy guy (Kevin Dillion) asking girls if they have a boyfriend and he ends up following her home and to the nearby supermarket. I was like she should let her godfather, Detective Guinn, her dad’s old partner know, but she doesn’t believe in going to the police as she can handle it all. It turns out to be a police cadet, Tony Campbell, but I’m like really?
Everything he says to her sounds like a lie. There is no way that the police force would allow a police cadet to investigate on his own, “going undercover” to pick up high school girls in order to “discover” a killer. I was like it’s him, he is the killer as he is such a creep.
It turns out he is a police cadet and investigating against orders. He teams up with Mary and as the two grow closer, he even admits he is a fraud, oops I mean afraid of heights (what is this Vertigo?). But then things get creepy again. He forces Mary to sleep with him, raping her as she wanted to leave as she unsure about being with him and he makes her continue after she changes her mind.
That double confirmed it for me. Campbell is a total creep and I hope he gets shot at the end by her godfather.
Unfortunately, poor Mary doesn’t tell anybody and continues to work with Tony, even though he forced her to do something she didn’t want. They continue investigating but Tony is a total creep and is like two people at times. I find it really hard he was ever able to pass a psych evaluation as from the moment we met him has had a hard time trying to pass himself off as a regular person.
Tony believes this one carnival worker is the killer and the two follow him and do a stakeout. They think they have caught the killer, but it turns out he is just a regular guy who likes to sleep with his girlfriend in a pipe room. I don’t know why she was into it, all I could think was it looked super unsanitary.
Eventually, her Detective Guinn (who doesn’t like the boyfriend Tony) looks into him and it turns out that Tony isn’t Tony. He stole another cadet’s identity and is, you guessed it, the serial killer all along. Yeah, I knew from the moment he was asking out high school girls at the pool.
Detective Guinn tried to take him down, but gets shot and killed by him.
Eventually it is up to Mary to save the day as Tony chases her though the carnival. Mary goes on the Ferris wheel, thinking Tony is too scared of heights that he won’t follow-but it turns out that Tony didn’t just lie about his name-he lied about everything! He climbs up there and fights with her, eventually falling to his death.
They end the film with Mary graduating high school, going the police academy, and trying to have it be like she is this amazing detective when she was actually really horrible. I’m not sure if that is the career for when she missed such huge signs. It was a horrible film and I definitely do not recommend
So yesterday I reviewed part one and now we are on to the second part of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula. Before we start Part II, let’s do a quick recap. So in the ’70s they had the show The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Mysteries. Each week would alternate with an episode featuring The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. When season two came out someone had the fantastic idea to do a crossover, and they ended up doing three more. These crossovers were my favorite as I ship Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy.
So Frank and Joe’s father is missing. They start searching for him and following his notes, running into Nancy Drew who was supposed to meet Mr. Fenton Hardy (the boys’ father). It turns out that Fenton was on the track of an art thief and had connected it a rock ‘n roll star, Allison Troy, who is playing at a rock festival, the Dracula Festival. Nancy and the Boys argue about who’s investigating, the boys going undercover by joining a band and Nancy and her friend Bess travel out to Transylvania.
Inspector Stavlin, friend of Fenton Hardy, does not like the way everyone is treating Dracula and warns everyone to watch out.
Joe is on stage singing, while Frank is searching the castle and gets trapped in a cell with a person who has two pinpricks on his neck Nancy and Bess just found them. What will happen next? Is Dracula really hiding in the castle or is there a human murderer running about? Who is the art thief? And will they ever find out what happened to Fenton Hardy?
Frank tells them to hurry and get a Doctor, Bess runs while Nancy picks the lock to get him out Frank is extremely impressed.
That’s another reason why I ship Nancy and Frank over Ned. Ned in this series was just so narcissistic and always talking down to Nancy. Frank was amazing as he liked Nancy and her skills. They are just so perfect together!
So the man in the cell isn’t dead but has a weak pulse-Frank tells him he met him earlier as he is part of the town’s council and the hotel owner. Nancy spots his neck and sees the bite marks…like a vampire bite.
Meanwhile, Joe continues singing. I think Shaun Cassidy is so adorable, and as much as I like David Cassidy, he’s my favorite of the brothers.
Stavlin comes and sees the bite maks and he gets one of the police members to get an ambulence while other people help carry Berger out.
Nancy: I think it is about time we started working together.
Frank: I think so too.
Nancy and Frank leave the caverns and head back upstairs to the party. Joe is at first upset to see Nancy (he’s still not over her harpooning their waiter) but Frank tells him about their new partnership-all working together. Nancy reveals that she came there specifically to look for them, Frank is pleased (oh Frank, he has a crush on Nancy) and she shares she has some info on their father. She thinks she might have found him.
She started searching not for Hardy, but Fredricks and found him in a monastery. Some Monks found him and tried to find his family, but the only ID he had on was Fredricks.
Found in a monastery? That sounds a lot like Dracula when Jonathan Harker was discovered in a convent, having been found by nuns. I love little touches like that.
The boys are relieved he isn’t dead, but wish he was doing better. Frank leaves to speak to the monk about his father’s care and what should be done next, while Joe stays with dad. Aw, Joe cries, Joe is so cute. Shaun Cassidy is a great actor, you forget that he is acting
The monk tells frank that one day his father did recover consciousness and for a brief moment said something about caverns, but the monk does’t know what that means. He too had a vampire-like bite.
From Horror of Dracula
Nancy says what they are all thinking, Dracula. Frank is amazed she could believe that, but Nancy states she doesn’t really think a vampire has arisen, but that someone wants them to think that.
You know, in the previous post I said that these brothers were the Dean and Sam Winchester, from Supernatural, of the ’70s and now that I think about it-this episode has some similarities to “Monster Movie“. The brothers investigating a strange occurrence at a a festival happening, the older brother trying to get with the pretty girl, and a “vampire” running amuck…interesting.
The boys return from their visit and drop Nancy off at the hotel, then return to the castle to search the caverns. A bat flies by…Dracula?
Back at the castle the secret passage in the “crypt” moves and someone is stalking the night. It is the person we before…could it be… Dracula?
Frank is set on it being Allison Troy as that is the track his dad was on, but Joe isn’t sure. I mean Allison is cold and a diva, but the vampire dress up and “bite” seems a it farfetched for a rock star? But then again, I already reviewed two movies about Ted Bundy and both clearly showed that you never really know people as well as you think you do.
The boys leave the caverns deciding to sleep on it and resume the investigation in the morning. They just narrowly escape he who stalks the caverns.
The next day the townspeople are worried about Dracula and are hanging up garlic everywhere. The detectives decide to continue searching the next day when Troy is preoccupied with the concert.
Joe takes Allison Troy’s car, but finds nothing. Meanwhile, Nancy and Frank search Troy’s room. Hmm…wonder who picked that split. I’m sure Frank is trying to be like Fred and Daphne Nancy Drew.
Nancy and Fred find a lock-pickers kit under the bed, Frank thinks they are on the right track, but Nancy isn’t so enthused…she’s thinking.
Frank wants to go to Stavlin with the information, but it seems too easy. If he is such a great criminal with these art thefts why would he do something so stupid like leaving the lock-picks under the bed.
Hmm…from The Wolfman
Everyone in town are freaking out as they think Dracula has risen. They think they should stop the concert as it is their fault that Dracula has risen again. Others say they should burn the castle.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
People be crazy, but Stavlin comes and starts yellling Dracula isn’t real and calms the people down and warning them that if they break any laws or abuse a guest they will be arrested.
So was it my imagination or did he previously seem to be saying Dracula is alive? But now he is telling everyone there is no Dracula…hmm. Does he believe or doesn’t he?
Frank approaches Stavlin to tell them about Troy, but he is busy with the mayor. The mayor invites them to join them and share. He also gives them all steaming cups of cider.
Stavlin talks about the attacks of the last two days of two strong men being highly suspicious. But how did he know about Fenton being bit. When he spoke to the boys before he was clueless as to what had happened and Frank and Joe haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. Hmm.
Stavlin warns the mayor that he might be the next victim and Frank questions why. Thanks for asking Frank as I was wondering the same thing. Stavlin says it parallels the Dracula story that has been passed on for generations, while that has nothing to do with the book Dracula, what is he talking about?
Frank brings up his father who has nothing to do with the Dracula legend. So yes, here it sounds as if he believes in Dracula being alive. Hmmm….
Frank and Nancy share their discoveries and what they found in Troy’s room. Nancy also shares that it feels like a frame job. Stavlin isn’t too surprised and brushes them off saying he will look into it.
He warns the mayor that he must guard his life, that the other men survived but the next, the mayor, will die.The mayor laughs him off, but I’d be worried about Stavlin.
That night the mayor locks himself in his office while Frank walks Nancy home oooohhhh
Nancy sleeps fitfully, while in his room Frank paces the room and He (the guy from the cavern, possible Dracula) stalks the night.
Someone creeps through the window watching Nancy, someone who looks very Dracula like.
Joe and Bess return, what have they been up to?, while a bat flies in to attack Nancy, a bat or vampire?!! Joe, Frank, and Bess hear her and Frank breaks the door down and picks up Nancy carrying her to safety in the hallway, leaving Joe and Bess fight it.
Nancy is understandably freaked at this vampire bat attacking her and clings to Frank ooooooooooohhh
Frank realizes the room was locked from the inside, so someone hid the bat in the room…or Dracula exists.
From “Monster Movie” from Supernatural
The group are talking in the restaurant and Stavlin overhears them. He questions them but believes Dracula is real. The Mayor’s housekeeper comes to Stavlin for help as she cannot get the master and he wont answer. All the men break the door down and find him…dead! Bite mark on his neck!
Oh, he’s not dead. He’s still alive.
Frank is trying to figure this out but the room is locked from the inside, the window has bars, the fireplace has a high fire…what, how, uh?
So while the first episode was good, they also had a lot of setting up to do with the meet cute, them getting to Transylvania, etc. This one is far more thrilling as we either have Dracula arisen from the grave or a crazy person wanting everyone to think he’s Dracula. Either way I am stone cold invested.
The next day Troy is arrested and the concert stopped. All the townspeople cheer and wish they had listened to Stavlin about not having the rock concert in the first place. They ask about evidence and Stavlin shares about the lock-picks and that he found a map in the trunk of his car. Here Joe speaks up as he searched last night, remember and found nothing.
Bess also speaks up that she was watching Troy and his group all night and they never left the castle. Stavlin is upset but as there are all these contradictions he decides to let Troy go.
Stavlin tells the detectives that if it isn’t Dracula attacking or Troy and there was no one else could the mayor have hurt himself?
The mayor is offended that Stavlin could suggest it, but Stavlin ignores him and Stavlin has him arrested. Stavlin explains as a political move, which makes no sense to me. Why would he do that? How does it help him? I’m so confused. These people don’t question Stavlin but ask him to take over until they have an election.
Stalin refuses at first but at their urges acquiesces to do as the council wishes.
So after all that excitement they head back to the hotel. Frank and Nancy are doing a sort of “you hang up first” routine, making it beyond obvious to Bess and Joe that they hav feelings for each other. Joe decides to show up his brother, like always, and makes a move on Bess getting a kiss.
I can’t believe any of these guys are really going to bed. I mean I have read a lot of these books, after that exchange of Stavlin and the townspeople, they should be investigating.
Frank and Joe head back to the castle as Frank doesn’t believe in the explanation given by Stavlin, and it is really thin. How does bringing “Dracula” help his career? He’s been doing horrible ever seen Dracula “arose from the grave”. Frank wants to search the castle and Dracula’s grave.
The boys search the caverns which are spoooky.
Frank takes Joe to Dracula’s “grave” which reveals the secret passage, Frank goes into it, Joe following. Inside it has all the paintings from all the robberies. Joe wants to leave, he’s a bit creeped out, but Frank won’t let them as he wants to jeep searching. He finds the coffin and can’t stop as he has to open it to reveal……………………………………………………………………..
Bones!!!!!!! So yeah bones not a vampire.
Stavlin interupts them dressed in vampire clothing. Yes it was Stavlin who was stealing the art. You see they are forcing him to retire due to his age so he started stealing to create a little nest egg. He always spend all his time in the castle and used it as a special place to reenact his desire to be Dracula.
Yes, he uses the room and castle to pretend to be Dracula. That’s why he didn’t want the rock group there. Someone might go poking around and find his little secrets.
The Hardy Boys figured out how he attacked the mayor. He must have drugged the mayor’s cider, and he knew that the maid would come to him for help. He was the first on the scene and when he checked the mayor and blocked him from view to “protect” the housekeeper he must have made the wound.
He tried to frame Troy but Joe and Bess foiled it, so he had to blame the mayor.
Stavlin locks the door and they are locked in the castle with a madman, only stopped by Nancy, Fenton, and Bess. Stavlin is surprised and he falls into the trapdoor he set up for the boys and is arrested. He’s no Dracula, if anything he’s crazy old Reinfeld.
Renfield from Dracula (1931)
Stavlin is taken away and says these crazy things like he might escape, Joe sees him pass by a mirror and doesn’t see Stavlin’s reflection.
Could he be Dracula arisen from a the grave, a real vampire, or a trick mirror?
It doesn’t answer that and I like that.
These are always my favorite episodes of the series and so much fun. I highly recommend checking them out.
I grew up reading The Nancy Drew Case Files and loved it-my favorites being the crossover mysteries with the Hardy Boys. Now I know Nancy and Ned are meant to be together, but I have to admit-I really want Frank and Nancy to end up together. They are just so cute together!
So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. I first discovered this show when I bought an old VHS with an episode on it, “A Haunting We Will Go“, at a library book sale.
It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one. I actually preferred the Nancy Drew episodes to the Hardy Boys, I mean I love Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy but the Hardy Boys always solved CIA, Interpol, spy mysteries and I liked that you never knew what you were going to get with Nancy Drew-embezzlement, theft, murder, etc.
But my favorite of all the episodes were the crossovers episodes, this being the first of them, in fact the very first time any Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew crossover happened. So enough intro, let’s get on to the review:
Mystery, you say?
At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.
So to start we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.
I love the setup, and I espechially love the book covers in the background and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.
We start off with Fenton Hardy (father of the Hardy Boys) driving up to Dracula’s castle in a taxi, the driver complaining about the American Rock singer using Dracula’s castle.
The taxi driver/caretaker warns Mr. Hardy not to go inside-its very old and possibly cursed. The caretaker won’t stay as he s too afraid, and tells Mr. Hardy he will wait for him at the bottom oft hill. Good-bye.
Mr. Hardy goes into the castle and a bat flies at him, Dracula?
He looks round but doesn’t spot anything, hmm.
Hmmm…from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
But we see that someone is behind him. Mr. Hardy drops his flashlight and lights a torch finding a skeleton in the passage of the castle he is searching, but before he can look further the person following him knocks him out cold.
That’s not good.
We move to Paris 5 days later. Joe (Shaun Cassidy) and Frank (Parker Stevenson) have arrived to the morgue as they lost contact with their dad and was notified of a body that fit his description. They go to to see if it is their father but it isn’t him, thankfully. They are happy he isn’t dead, but that begs the question what happened to him, and where is he?
Can I stop and talk about how adorable these guys are. I love both of them and their portrayal is spot on. They are not only entertaining but completely believable as brothers-at times I forget they aren’t really siblings. They are the Dean and Sam (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) of the ’70s. Okay, now we can go back to the episode.
They go the hotel their father had rented a room in and spot a band playing outside, The Circus.
They go to their father’s room, but someone is inside searching it, it is Inspector Stavlin (Lorne Green) of the Romanian police. He was working with their father and trying to solve the case of art thefts occurring throughout Europe. Mr. Hardy called Stavlin to join him in Paris as he had a lead, but after that Stavlin hasn’t heard from him since.
That’s not good.
Stavlin encourages them to give up and go home, Obviously, he doesn’t know the Hardy boys very well as they are totally going to continue to go after their father. Stalin leaves as he has to return to Transylvania.
Joe is more superstitious and that perks him up right away, Transylvania as in Dracula?
The boys search the room and find their dad’s notebook in his usual hiding spot.
There is a list of dates on the art thefts, and something else was booked at the same time. There is a meeting note, which the boys intend to keep:
Meet at the Ritz
June 11 5:00 pm
Book Rm 301
There is also another note on about a Dracula Festival on June 12th. That sounds awesome.
They pay the band they spotted earlier, to join them. Of course the band is down for it as they will be making money. Joe is going to sing and first he is upset that Frank threw him out into it like that- but of course he can sing, he’s a Cassidy after all. And it turns out they are headed to the same Dracula festival-fantastic. They boys head to Munich and arrive on June 10th, just in time for the meeting. Frank sweet talks the concierge and gets the room. The boys leave their stuff and stop to get something to eat.
Meanwhile, Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) has arrived and is shock to hear there are a group instead of a man in Rm 302. She is traveling with Bess which is odd, as Nancy never brought her friends with her on “serious” cases, usually they were with her when things turned into a case.
Nancy is upset to hear that there are young men in the room instead of a 40-year old man. They send the suitcases back to the desk. Bess questions how does Nancy know that she hasn’t sent the contact away, but as they aren’t an older man so she doesn’t care.
From Mean Girls
I’m with Bess, that doesn’t seem like a good idea Nancy. What if your contact sent someone else in his place? What I would have done was stayed in the room and ordered room service until I could talk to the guys.
Frank spots the bellman and grabs their luggage sending them back up in the room. Meanwhile Joe is still trying to get the attention of a waiter, but no dice. Frank questions if it is his father, but finds out it is ladies. He sends the girls’ stuff down.
Joe tries to order but his waiter is stolen by Nancy. This exchange is hilarious and as Frank comes back in a bad mood because of the luggage, and it develops when there is no food on the table. Him being upset with Joe was so realistic, like real siblings. No joke, this is me and my sister.
From The Awful Truth
Meanwhile, Nancy has spotted her bags being taken down and sends her bags upstairs. She’s had enough and leaves Bess downstairs to eat while she heads up to the room. Frank and Joe also decide to go upstairs as they are tired of this too. Sharing the elevator, Frank is very into Nancy and tries to talk her up-but she’s in a hurry and Nancy brushes him off. Joe is upset with her as she stole their waiter. Frank is hurt to lose a chance with a beautiful girl, but Joe consoles him as he’ll see her again-she has the same room as them.
Nancy: What do you want? What are you doing in my room?
Joe: We want our waiter back
Hilarious!!!! If I was Nancy I think I’d be a freaked out that this boy has diner rage to follow me my room. Like, this guy is crazy.
You are crazy From The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Frank tells her this is their room. Then he threatens to take the bags out himself if Nancy doesn’t leave and when he tries to touch her luggage-Nancy does a Judo flip on him. I love how Frank and Joe are impressed with Nancy’s skills, as for Frank he likes her even more.
Of course they hash it out and discover that Nancy is the one supposed to meet their father.The boys share that he is missing and they are searching for him. Nancy tells them she got on the case through her father. She and her friend were in Paris taking a summer class (that’s why Bess is with her) when one of her father’s client’s painting was stolen. It turned out to be one in a series and Nancy started to investigate it and came across Fenton Hardy. She spoke to Fenton 10 days ago, and he told her that he discovered that the rock group Allison Troy was always in the city that the art was stolen from. They believe it to be either Allison Troy or a member of his entourage. Nancy is set on taking over the case herself, but Frank and Joe aren’t letting go. As they have an in with the Dracula rock concert, they think Nancy should stay behind.
Nancy won’t be left behind as she is heading to Transylvania as well. She storms off to collect Bess.
Nancy Drew: Come on we have an appointment to keep.
Bess Marvin: With who?
Nancy Drew: Dracula
So the boys arrive at the castle a day early and it is a dark, spooky, rainy, and chilly night, of course it is as it is the Dracula’s castle. The band is too freaked that they head down to the town to relax.
Inspector Stavlin is at the hotel with the town council and is not happy about this concert and them using Dracula is such a way. No one else heads his warnings of troubles coming as everyone else is happy with the money coming in. Hotel’s almost sold out, restaurants packed, shops are doing good, etc.
The boys spot the Inspector and meet the mayor and the rest of the council. Stavlin continues to share his disgust at the idea of the Dracula festival. The mayor is making fun of him and asks who he fears…Dracula, coming for revenge? Stavlin states he isn’t afraid, but that the others should have more respect…Dracula desires it or else.
Frank shares that they found their father’s notebook and that their father had written about the festival. Stavlin thanks them for sharing and tells them if they find anything else to come to him.
When the boys sign in Joe spots that a B. Fredricks registered at the same hotel. So if his father came and was such good friends with Stavlin, why didn’t he meet him there? Is their father still there? Kidnapped? Dead?
June 12th arrives and so starts the rock concert. Allison Troy is dressed up in a Dracula style outfit and has a party with many people dressed up as monsters. This looks so cool, I wish that it was real so I could go.
From Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School
The boys arrive and Troy and his people have the contracts and costumes. They warn the band to watch out for the crumbling castle and to treat the house with respect as it is a national treasure. One area they are not allowed to enter, it is forbidden. Of course the boys perk up on this and plan to investigate it later.
Stavlin is obsessed with Dracula, calling the castle a cemetery and acts like he believes Dracula is real and will rise again. The mayor hates Stavlin and is happy he’ll be gone soon he’s at the retirement age (they are forcing him to retire). The Mayor and the rest of the council are taking a tour of the castle as they haven’t been in there before.
Joe goes on to perform while Frank plans to search the castle. On of the running gags on this show is that every time Joe sings, Frank always misses it.
Frank starts searching the spooky castle, and someone is following him as we can see their boots.
That’s not good.
Meanwhile, Bess and Nancy have arrived in costume. Bess doesn’t want to search the castle but stay and listen to Joe, but Nancy insists they need to search the cavern.
As the Mayor and friends are looking through out the castle, they find a large seal that says Dracula. This is supposedly his grave and the rest of the group and the caretaker/guide of the castle are all deeply frightened.
The mayor is the only one who has no fear and feels the Dracula story is just a lot of hooey. However, after they leave the “grave” we see it move aside and that someone resides in the chamber…or some monster. The black boots we have seen earlier come out. Is it Dracula having risen from the grave?
From The Horror of Dracula
One of the members of the group falls behind, its Berger the hotel owner, and is taken.
From the Cat and the Canary
The mayor and his people finish their tour and Frank is also searching passing by the seal. Nancy and Bess as well poke around the caverns. Bess is no help at all in this story as she just complains about being there in the cavern. As the girls pass by Dracula’s grave, the wall opens again and whoever it is (Dracula? ) starts following them.
From Return of the Vampire
Frank spots Berger in a cell and runs in to see if he is okay when he is locked in as well. Frank checks Berger and sees the vampire bit marks on his throat:
Nancy and Bess see them and Bess screams.
So typically Fridays are the days that I review TV episodes but as I couldn’t see waiting a whole week, I will post part II tomorrow.
So the second half of this episode I think is actually better. This one was a lot more set up with the detectives meeting up, getting them to Transylvania-more exposition. Tomorrow’s episode will have a lot more action to it.
The first time I saw this episode I was soooo into it I just had to find out what happened next. Where was their father? Would Nancy and Frank and Joe get along? Is it really Dracula or is it someone who thinks they are Dracula/pretending to be Dracula? As this was done by Universal I could see it going either way. We’ll find out tomorrow.
Those men are not going to stand for Nancy Drew poking her little nose into their affairs.
First saw this when I was staying in Wyoming. I was renting a room from a family and was happy to see they had cable as my family had gotten rid of it years ago. Finally I could watch TCM!
And what did they happen to be showing? 1930s Nancy Drew Marathon!
So Nancy Drew was published in 1930 and became extremely popular. The film rights were bought and movie contract for a few films starring Bonita Granville.
They do get one thing wrong instead of Ned, he is “Ted” Nickerson. Why? Don’t know.
This book is based on the Nancy Drew Mystery The Password to Larkspur Lane with a few changes here and there. That’s enough background:
Nancy Drew is the chairman of the committee presenting Miss Mary Eldridge an award. Mary Eldridge is donating to her old alma mater-$250,000 ($4.4 million in today’s cash). She plans to go and sign the papers at Carson Drew’s (Nancy’s dad) office after they finish this meeting. The money is to go to a swimming pool-the girls vote.
The next day wait for Miss Elridge-planning on presenting her with a trophy. But she doesn’t come. She has ran away.
It all so odd.
The lawyer, Mr. Hollister, says that she is a hypochondriac and very eccentric. She does stuff like this all the time. Does she really?
All the ladies become angry that they won’t get their pool and turn on Nancy and Mrs. Eldridge. Nancy thinks something more serious is up and sets on to find her.
Nancy is out driving to Mrs. Elridge and spots something, in her rearview mirror: it is Dr. Spires being kidnapped! She follows the car and tries to get the license plate but it is so muddy all she sees os a “08”. She then gets a blowout and the chase is over.
Dr. Spires calls Mr. Drew leaving him a cryptic message and that he needs him to come right away.
When they get there Dr. Spires tells them his story. He was kidnapped and brought to an old house, were he was blindfolded and only saw the inside. Inside was an injured elderly woman being held against her will and he treated her hurt shoulder. They let him go but he saw nothing and knows not how to find them. All he does know is when they came to the gate one of the guards said the word bluebell. They threatened his life if he told but he risks letting Carson know.
When the Drews leave Dr. Spires, two guys are watching them and decide to follow the duo.
The two don’t realize they are being followed and head to the police, the two men knowing that Dr. Spires let the truth out…
Captain Tweedy, (Frank Orth), the police chief, is no real help. Nancy is much smarter than him, and Tweedy feels there is nothing he can work off on.
Sorry, can’t help you. Good-bye.
I love how quick Nancy’s mind it, and how sarcastic she can be. She doesn’t like Captain Tweedy and neither do I.
Nancy and Mr. Drew discover a car is following them and Nancy does evasive measures and tries to follow them, but Mr. Drew essentially “grounds” her from investigating. But will Nancy listen?
Meanwhile, next-door neighbor Ted Nickerson (Frankie Thomas) is practicing for football and runs into Nancy’s yard. Ned Ted’s friend Spud Murphy comes over to speak to Ned as he found a carrier pigeon on his coop, but it isn’t his bird. He wants Ted to announce the pigeon over his radio. Nancy looks at the message and sees that it says “shoulder okay bluebells”
Nancy knows it is important evidence and leaves the bird with Ted for safekeeping while she goes to her father with the new evidence. But Dad doesn’t want her involved anymore-Dr. Spires was badly beaten, and he doesn’t want that to happen to his daughter.
Nancy returns to Ted and wants to take the pigeon to the police, but she isn’t allowed to go alone-per her father. Ted makes a coop in two seconds for the pigeon.
Now I didn’t care for the Ted character. I thought he was just mean and rude, and seemed to just be a big grump. Yuck.
They head out and drop the coop, the pigeon flying out. Ted tries to catch it, but Nancy wants it to fly away as she wants to follow it. She’s tricky. She did it all on purpose.
They follow a pigeon to a house that is described as Dr. Spires said except for watchman. She leaves Ted there to stand watch while she calls for backup. The police arrive, full force and rush the house. But all they find is Mrs. Eldridge business partner. Hmmm….
They all turn on Nancy saying she must have imagined everything. They all head to the coop in the back to find the proof-Nancy’s pigeon. But they can’t find it and just insult her instead.
Everyone leaves, but Mr. Hollister does have the pigeon. He is writing notes and he warns his cohort that the “Drew girl” is up to stuff.
It turns out that these men kidnapped Mrs. Eldridge and want her money to go to them not the school. Mrs. Eldridge tried to get away and they dislocated her shoulder.
Nancy is embarrassed, but goes after Dr. Spires to speak to him. He describes going ovr a bridge and a gravel driveway-he was blindfolded the whole time but knows this from the sounds he heard.
Nancy realizes they went to the wrong house-Ned pointing out the pigeon was going to deliver a message. If they wanted to see where he came from they should have gone the opposite direction. They run the figures and discover the house should be by Silver Lake-right where Ted is heading the next day for a family trip.
Their musings are interrupted when they see a man trying to break into Nancy’s house-it’s just her father who forgot his key.
They try to open the door, but it won’t. It was barricaded. The look for the housekeeper and she tells them a man with a gun tried to get in earlier so she piled the furniture and hid.
The man is still in the house. He has a gun and holds them all at gunpoint and warns them to stay out of it. He then leaves.
Mr. Carson plans to leave town as they have news of Mrs. Eldridge in a sanitarium in St. Louis. Nancy is shocked as that doesn’t seem right, what about Silver Lake? Nancy invites herself on the Nickerson family trip as her gut is telling her the answer lies at Silver Lake.
Up at the lake three days they have searched and found nothing. Ted wants her to give it up, but Nancy doesn’t want but then gets a note from her father that he found Mrs. Elridge. It’s over.
Nancy spots Mr. Hollister at Silver Lake-even though he is supposed to be with her father in St. Louis. To make it even more intriguing, he jumps into the car that kidnapped Dr. Spires.
They rent a plane and search for the house.To get in Ned dresses up as a nurse and Nancy as an old lady. When they search the home they find Mrs. Elridge. It turns out hat the night before she was to make the donation she became sick. An they took her away in a plan to steal all her money.
They try to drive off to escape but are discovered. All are kidnapped and sent back to the sanitarium.
They stick the kids in the basement and they try to find a way out of their predicament. Ted finds an old X-Ray machine, and he hot-wires it to send out Morse Code.
Meanwhile, Carson Drew is bak and very suspicious of the lawyer as things do not match up with what he had said. He goes to Chief Tweedy when they get the message from Ted.They hurry out and go on their way to find them.
The crew is taking care of loose ends, when they are loading them into the car-Ned knocks into one who drops their gun. Nancy picks it up and shoots at all the guys scaring them off until the police arrive.
Wow. In the end all’s well that end’s well.
I recommend it, and the following films. It is extremely enjoyable.
So this year I am doing something a bit different. I decided that every Friday this year I will review a TV episode instead of a film. I know it kind of goes against the grain, but I just feel bad for those awesome shows that try to make really creepy Halloween episodes or just have great episodes that fit for this. Their still horror, so they count.
So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her, left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one.
So on to the review:
At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.
So then we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.
I love the setup, the book covers in the background, and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.
So the first thing we see is a woman, yelling at Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) about knowing who she is and pulling a knife on her!
But it turns out that it is just a rehearsal for a play they are doing. Yep, they are tearing down the old theater in River Heights, and using the property to build a youth center. It was Nancy’s idea to put on a play Murder in the 4th Act.
Unlike the book series, Ned and Nancy’s relationship isn’t clearly defined. Are they going out? Or just good friends? He seems more into her than she into him. As much as I like book Ned, I have to be honest and admit I love the idea of Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy, especially in this series. OTP of the TV series.
Anyways, so Ned is a bit of an egotistical jerk in the TV series than the book, and this episode is no different. He sent some telegrams to some famous actors: Thelma March, Hollywood actress; Alex Richmond, game show host; Danny Day, TV actor, and Seth Taylor, news anchor- and they all agreed to come. Ned thinks it is because of his brilliance, Nancy thinks it is a bit odd. Why would these famous people be willing to give up their time for free to help a youth center?
The woman Nancy was rehearsing with, Janet Mustane (Pippa Scott), used to perform with these people, choosing to remain in River Heights instead of going off to “bigger things”. She does not seem happy about all those people coming back. Wonder why?
Nancy decides to clean up the stage area and make sure that everything is nice for the “famous” people. As she looks around stage, their is a shadowy figure above her on the catwalk.
No it’s not him, :(. However there is a story that the theater is haunted by “The Phantom”.
Well, whoever or whatever this is, they decide to take down the chandelier and almost get Nancy with it.
Nancy was able to get out of the way in time, but starts thinking that something inky is going on. She checks the cord and sees that it isn’t frayed or old, but was cut.
No one believes her though. So its up to Nancy to figure it out.
The team split up to check over the theater more thoroughly.
Nancy heads down into the prop room to see if she can figure out what is bringing everyone back. As she is looking, she finds an old playbill from the orginal opening of the play. And it turns out, all of those who are coming back, including Janet, were in the original performance.
So they all show up, but no one can pay the cab, leaving Ned to foot the bill. How odd. How can such huge entertainment giants have no money? Hmmm….
Something else strange is that they all seem to hate each other.
If they dislike each other, why would they come back to perform with each others? And stay in the hotel across the alley (Janet’s place) rooming with each other?
So they start practicing, when Seth decides that he can’t do the scene without a pipe. He heads down to the prop room, but the lights won’t work.
You know what that means. Someone’s coming after you.
But instead of looking for a prop he tries to open the window. While he is doing that, our mystery person or ghost knocks a statue over, trying to hurt him.
He’s fine, but Nancy wonders if there is more going on. Janet is convinced that the Phantom did it, and everyone else thinks it was just an accident; but Nancy knows that something is not adding up.
She notices the light was unscrewed so it wouldn’t work, and that the window is opened. The window shouldn’t be unlocked as Ned checked it earlier, so Nancy is convinced someone came through there. Seth tells her it is stuck, so no one could get through it.
Wait a second!
Now how would he know that? He was looking for a prop. He must have tried to open the window, but why?
Later that night Nancy tries to get Ned, her friend George Fayne, and her Dad, Carson Drew to investigate with her to find out what is going on, but no wants to help. None are convinced that there is anything more to it then an old building that is falling apart. In fact Mr. Drew thinks they should move the play somewhere else, as that building is probably too old.
But Nancy is convinced there is far more to the tale and won’t give up. She notices how all the actors are completely hostile to each other, and there has to be another reason why they would all come that isn’t nostalgia. But what?
The plot thickens
That night the four visiting actors sneak out of their rooms and head over to the theater. They head down into the prop room and start taking it apart.
That night, unbeknownst to them, Ned decides to head over and check the place out. You see Ned is very full of himself (I cannot repeat this enough, he is not like that in the book series) and decides that he needs to recheck the light plan as his genius must reflect well on the actors. When he gets there he runs into Julia and Alex disposing of the bricks from the prop room wall.
This is one of the funniest scenes in the whole episode. Ned asks them what they are doing, and Alex tells him he needs the bricks to make a bed for his back, it is the only thing that can help him sleep. Ned finds it weird, but who is he to question it? He tries to head into the theater, but Julia stops him telling him he needs to go to bed and be well-rested. He says he doesn’t need to because he is young, and then Julia gets offended.
She yells at him, are you calling me old?
And Ned, like a typical male, knows that it is no time to argue but vamoose.
The next day, Nancy discovers the actors all asleep in the dressing room. They wonder what the heck is going on? Ned wakes them up and as they head upstairs to the stage, Ned tells Nancy about everything that happened the night before. Now Nancy is 100%s sure something is up, but what?
So while they are talking the actors are having their own discussion. They are a bit worried about Nancy as she is always watching them.
The other thing that is making them act crazy is they are all completely broke. Everyone has been paying a blackmailer for something they haven’t discussed, just yet. They know one of them must be the blackmailer, but which one is doing it?
So they rehearse, and just as they are about to break up for lunch, a light comes crashing down, nearly hitting some people.
Everyone thinks that it is just another accident in an old theater, but Nancy feels that these accidents are too deliberate. As if someone was purposely attacking the people performing. But which one is doing it?
So Nancy tries to get Ned and Mr. Carson to back her again, but they still just think all the mishaps are from an old building falling apart, not a saboteur. Ned says that he heard a door shut and he thinks someone might have been there, but wasn’t sure. George disagrees as she thinks it is the Phantom!
Nancy decides to put together a plan. She gets some phosphoric paint, and starts painting the areas in the prop room to discover who might be this “Phantom” messing with things.
Afterwards, the actors return and she puts her plan into motion. She turns off the lights and has George turn on the blacklight….and it shows that EVERYONE has the paint on them.
THEY ALL ARE A PART OF IT!!!
So Nancy overhears them talking and decides there is much more to this story. Time to head to the library and do some research.
They find the newspaper article and get some answers.
So Jason Hall went from town to town raising money and investors for the show, promising it would be an amazing thing. In fact he really took River Heights, Nancy’s hometown, for a ride. The play closed before it opened, and it turned out that Jason took off with it all!!!! Or at least that’s what people think because he just disappeared. It turned out that he never had New York critics coming, that he intended to take everyone for a ride. But is that it, or is there more to the story?
She starts thinking about it and everything starts coming together: the disappearance of Jason Hall, they all hate each other, they all are poor, etc. They must have done something to Jason. Someone is blackmailing them and they have no more money left. When they heard that the theater was going to be destroyed they must have decided to come back and clear up whatever evidence they have before it comes to light with the destruction.
Nancy thinks she has it figured out, now all she needs is to find the hard evidence to prove her theory.
While they are looking, the actors have been trying very hard to finish what they started. At last they have opened up the wall, and pulled out a sarcophagus. It turns out that Nancy was right. They did kill Jason, they hid the body in the sarcophagus, and sealed up the wall. They have been digging to get it out, so that their crime would not be discovered. And they have finally accomplished it.
When Ned spots them carrying it out, they tell him that Mr. Drew said they could have whatever props they wanted, and Seth wanted this one.
Nancy sees Ned who tells her about the sarcophagus and Nancy knows instantly, that must be where they put body. She tells her dad, who decides to call in the Sheriff.
As the group is gathered to open it, in walks the Sheriff. He demands to open it and when they do, they discover………………..
Yes everyone is shocked! What happened? Where is the body?
Everyone but the actors are sent on home, and they talk amongst themselves. Danny thinks that one of them came back and moved the body, only pretending to help dig it out, but which one did it?
That night is the performance and the mystery is bothering Nancy. Who is the blackmailer? What happened to Jason? Who has been sabotaging the theater?
She finally comes to the conclusion that the only solution that fits, is if Jason IS the blackmailer. Think about it: he somehow recovered from whatever they did to think they killed him and has been blackmailing them since. He must also be the person who has been sabotaging the theater. Yes that has to be it! Before she can tell Ned and everyone her cue comes, and she has to go onstage.
She goes onstage, and has to give everyone champagne, as she plays a maid. As she is giving out the glasses, she smells something odd.
Nancy stops the play, crushing the glasses and keeping everyone from drinking them. She then yells at George to put on the blacklight. As they scan the audience, they spot one man covered in phosphorus paint. They get him.
They pull off wig, fake glasses, and pretend nose. And discover that it is Jason. He has been alive the whole time.
Afterwards the crew met up so Nancy can get the whole story.
It turned out that Jason was a hustler and conman. He took the money for investing in the play and sent it to a private account in the Cayman Islands. He was planning in leaving the actors holding the bag, and having to pay for his crimes. They discovered this and argued with him, Jason fell and hit his head. They thought they killed him, so they buried the body in the wall, like in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Black Cat. He escaped at one point and began blackmailing them, while the whole time they thought it was one of the five.
With everything done, the actors decide to finally stop bickering and continue in the play until enough money is raised for the youth center. Another case solved by Nancy Drew!