Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

60 or 67 mins | Drama | 19 November 1938

Director:

William Clemens

Writer:

Kenneth Gamet

Cinematographer:

L. W. O'Connell

Editor:

Frank Magee

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to WarnerBros. studio records, the direct negative cost of the film was $90,144.00. With general studio overhead of 40% [$36,349.00], and depreciation of 5% [$4,507.00], the total cost of the picture was carried on the studio books as $131,000.00.
       The film's working title was Passport to Larkspur Lane. The character "Nancy Drew" was featured in dozens of novels aimed at youthful readers, beginning in the 1930s. The novels were revised and updated, beginning in the 1980s. This was the first of four films in the "Nancy Drew" series, that ended with Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase in 1939. All of the films were directed by Williams Clemens and starred Bonita Granville as "Nancy Drew," John Litel as "Carson Drew" and Frank Thomas, Jr. (later called Frankie Thomas) as Ted Nickerson. For additional titles in the series, consult the Series Index. The characters were also featured in an ABC television series from 1977-1978, entitled The Nancy Drew Mysteries, starring Pamela Sue Martin and William Schallert. The television series alternated for several months with another mystery series based on youth-oriented novels, The Hardy Boys Mysteries, then the two series combined into one weekly series, Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries that featured characters from both series. ...

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According to WarnerBros. studio records, the direct negative cost of the film was $90,144.00. With general studio overhead of 40% [$36,349.00], and depreciation of 5% [$4,507.00], the total cost of the picture was carried on the studio books as $131,000.00.
       The film's working title was Passport to Larkspur Lane. The character "Nancy Drew" was featured in dozens of novels aimed at youthful readers, beginning in the 1930s. The novels were revised and updated, beginning in the 1980s. This was the first of four films in the "Nancy Drew" series, that ended with Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase in 1939. All of the films were directed by Williams Clemens and starred Bonita Granville as "Nancy Drew," John Litel as "Carson Drew" and Frank Thomas, Jr. (later called Frankie Thomas) as Ted Nickerson. For additional titles in the series, consult the Series Index. The characters were also featured in an ABC television series from 1977-1978, entitled The Nancy Drew Mysteries, starring Pamela Sue Martin and William Schallert. The television series alternated for several months with another mystery series based on youth-oriented novels, The Hardy Boys Mysteries, then the two series combined into one weekly series, Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries that featured characters from both series.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Dec 1938
p. 3
Film Daily
7 Dec 1938
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1938
p. 2
Motion Picture Herald
22 Oct 1938
p. 47
Variety
7 Dec 1938
p. 12
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Les Guthrie
Asst dir
Unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
L. Wm. O'Connell
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Password to Larkspur Lane by Carolyn Keene (New York, 1933).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Passport to Larkspur Lane
Release Date:
19 November 1938
Production Date:
Production started 29 Aug 1938; production completed 22 Sep 1938
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
18 February 1938
LP8444
Physical Properties:
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60 or 67
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
4703
SYNOPSIS

Wealthy, elderly Mary Eldredge plans to donate a large sum of money to her alma mater, the Brinwood School for Girls, at which teenager Nancy Drew is a student. She arranges to deliver the check to lawyer Carson Drew, Nancy's father, at his office the following day, but she does not appear. Hollister, Miss Eldredge's business manager, explains that she left town suddenly. Nancy, who does not believe that Miss Eldredge would act that way, determines to discover what happened. Driving home, she sees Dr. Spires kidnapped by a suspicious car. That evening, Dr. Spires calls Carson and Nancy to tell them that he was kidnapped and taken to the country to treat an injured elderly woman. Nancy is convinced that this is Miss Eldredge and that she is being held against her will. The doctor mentions that he heard his captors use a password, "bluebells." Nancy finds an injured racing pigeon bearing a message that mentions bluebells and is positive that it came from Miss Eldredge's captors. She and her friend, Ted Nickerson, release the pigeon and follow it to a house in the country where they find Hollister, but not Miss Eldredge. Nancy and Ted then realize they should look in the direction the pigeon came from rather than the direction it went toward, deciding that the pigeon must have traveled from Sylvan Lake. When Carson receives a telegram from St. Louis signed by Miss Eldredge, he leaves at once, agreeing that Nancy could go to the Lake with Ted's family. Nancy and Ted hire an airplane to look for a house that matches Dr. Spires description, ...

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Wealthy, elderly Mary Eldredge plans to donate a large sum of money to her alma mater, the Brinwood School for Girls, at which teenager Nancy Drew is a student. She arranges to deliver the check to lawyer Carson Drew, Nancy's father, at his office the following day, but she does not appear. Hollister, Miss Eldredge's business manager, explains that she left town suddenly. Nancy, who does not believe that Miss Eldredge would act that way, determines to discover what happened. Driving home, she sees Dr. Spires kidnapped by a suspicious car. That evening, Dr. Spires calls Carson and Nancy to tell them that he was kidnapped and taken to the country to treat an injured elderly woman. Nancy is convinced that this is Miss Eldredge and that she is being held against her will. The doctor mentions that he heard his captors use a password, "bluebells." Nancy finds an injured racing pigeon bearing a message that mentions bluebells and is positive that it came from Miss Eldredge's captors. She and her friend, Ted Nickerson, release the pigeon and follow it to a house in the country where they find Hollister, but not Miss Eldredge. Nancy and Ted then realize they should look in the direction the pigeon came from rather than the direction it went toward, deciding that the pigeon must have traveled from Sylvan Lake. When Carson receives a telegram from St. Louis signed by Miss Eldredge, he leaves at once, agreeing that Nancy could go to the Lake with Ted's family. Nancy and Ted hire an airplane to look for a house that matches Dr. Spires description, then, back on the ground, they drive to Larkspur Lane, the location they found from the air, and Nancy notes that Larkspur is another name for bluebells. They return that evening and gain entry to the house by using disguises. Nancy finds Miss Eldredge, who explains that the men, led by Hollister, are trying to drive her insane and steal her money. During their escape, Ted and Nancy are kidnapped, but Ted uses an old shortwave radio to send a signal for help. Carson gets the message and together with the police, rounds up the gang.

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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Teenage, Detective


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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