Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title, Nero Wolfe. Black bars somewhat like jail cell bars
This week’s mysterious program was a Count the Man Down, a 1959 pilot for the unsold TV show Nero Wolfe with Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner, Alex Scourby, Phyllis Hill, George Voskovec, Eva Seregni, Frank Marth, John McLiam, John C. Becher, Eileen Fulton and Rene Paul.

Theme composed by Alex North.
Assistant to the producer Joe Scully.
Production supervisor Richard Rosenbloom.
Art direction by Larry Eggleton.
Costumes by William Griffin.
Based on characters created by Rex Stout.
Photography by William Miller.
Recording by James Shields.
Edited by David Cooper.
Assistant director Peter Scoppa.
Executive producer Edwin Fadiman.
Produced by Gordon Duff.
Directed by Tom Donovan.

Nero Wolfe is a CBS Television Network production, filmed in New York in association with Nero Wolfe Attractions.

Restored by Jeff Joseph, 2018.

Count the Man Down is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.


It’s always a dicey proposition when I do a TV show as a mystery program. Especially one that never aired. OK, I get it. Let me explain.

This was a substitution for the Edward Arnold movie Meet Nero Wolfe (1936), which came up for discussion in a recent Zoom meeting. I could only find the Edward Arnold film in atrocious prints, but William Shatner as Archie? Possibilities!

There’s no mystery as to why this pilot wasn’t picked up. The script may have worked as a radio show, but in the era of Perry Mason and 77 Sunset Strip, a series about a wealthy eccentric who solves crimes but never leaves his apartment was doomed. Of course all the suspects have to be assembled in a room for the denoument (cliche!) And the plot resolution? Death was the result of a magic gizmo? A total violation of Raymond Chandler’s rules for mystery stories.

Next week, a movie. I promise.


For Monday, we have a mysterious fellow.

Update: This is Rene Paul.

Mystery woman in pearls
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman – plus pearls.

Update: This is Eva Seregni.

Two mystery guests. The man is in a suit with a skinny tie. The woman is seated and is wearing a fur coat. There is bric a brack on the fireplace mantle. The somewhat harsh TV lighting is unmistakable
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have two mysterious people.

Update: This is Alexander Scourby and Phyllis Hill.

An elegantly dressed man in a dressing gown, seated at a desk, examines a mystery plant. Also Back of the Head Guy.
And for “Aha Thursday,” we have a mystery gent. And Back of the Head Guy.

Update: This is Kurt Kasznar, a mystery orchid and William Shatner as Back of the Head Guy.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), L.C. (mystery show and mystery cast) and Sheila (Wednesday’s mystery fellow).

Man in suit coat and tie. Looks earnest.
For Friday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: Boyish, charming William Shatner.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mysterious TV pilot, Thursday’s mystery guest and Back of the Head Guy), Mary Mallory (mystery TV pilot, all mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy), Sylvia E. (mystery TV pilot, all mystery guests and Back of the Head guy), Gary (mystery TV pilot and Thursday’s mysterious detective), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mysterious detective), Howard Mandelbaum (mysterious TV pilot, all mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy) and Benito (Thursday’s mysterious detective).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Warner Anderson.


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    Ann Newman Bacal and THE BEST MAN.


  3. Jenny M says:

    Alexander Scourby and Phyllis Hill


  4. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Alexander Scourby


  5. mike hawks says:

    Alexander Scourby.


  6. bjmesbcglobalnet says:

    Alexander Scourby


  7. LC says:

    Interesting choice. Count The Man Down, this is an unsold pilot for Nero Wolfe in1959 w/Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner, Phyllis Hill, Alexander Scourby, George Voskovec, Eva Seregni, Frank Marth


  8. Sheila says:

    Alexander Scourby for Wednesday?


  9. Jenny M says:

    Kurt Kasznar and Back of the Head Guy William Shatner in Nero Wolfe television series.


  10. Mary Mallory says:

    Ah! Our talk last week. Nero Wolfe’s COUNT THE MAN DOWN. Rene Paul I think on Monday, Eileen Fulton Tuesday, Alexander Scourby and Phyllis Hill Wednesday, and William Shatner BOTH and Kurt Kasznar today.


  11. Mary Mallory says:

    It has to be Eva Seregni Wednesday per the Youtube video.


  12. Sylvia E. says:

    Aha Thursday strikes again! Thanks to Kurt Kasznar and even BOTHG William Shatner (I recognized his hair!)

    A 1959 TV pilot for a Nero Wolfe series that didn’t come to pass. This episode – “Count the Man Down”. It would have been interesting to see Shatner as Archie Goodwin. I like his jacket.

    Still working on Monday and Tuesdays images. Wednesday’s image: Alexander Scourby and Phyllis Hill.


  13. Gary says:

    I have never owned a television set and I have never watched television except in passing, but I think this is Kurt Kasner as Nero Wolf in a television series that never happened. Never…being the key word here.


  14. mike hawks says:

    Kurt Kasznar.


  15. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Nero Wolfe (1959)
    Episode: Count The Man Down
    Monday: Rene Paul
    Tuesday: Unbilled actress as The Widow Lowenberg
    Wednesday: Alexander Scourby, Phyllis Hill
    Thursday Kurt Kaszner, William Shatner


  16. Sylvia E. says:

    Continuing on (or going back to) Monday and Tuesday and the cast of “Count the Man Down”

    Mon – victim, Rene Paul
    Tues – widow, Eva Seregni

    I hope my earlier comments made it through.
    A deadly hearing aid – no peak clipping in this story.


  17. Benito says:

    A young Kurt Kasznar today. PS Wednesday’s children are Perry Mason vets


  18. Mark G. says:

    Friday’s mystery gent looks like William Shatner. Is the mystery TV pilot “Nero Wolfe”?


  19. Mary Mallory says:

    Willam Shatner today.


  20. beachgal says:

    Monday – Rene Paul
    Our flick is the TV pilot for Nero Wolfe
    Tues – Eva Seregni
    Wed – Alexander Scourby with Phyllis Hill
    Thurs – Kurt Mass as with bothg being Wm. Shatner
    Fri. – William Shatner


  21. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    William Shatner.


  22. bjmesbcglobalnet says:

    “A mysterious TV pilot” Movieland Mystery Photo? Count me out..


  23. mike hawks says:

    William Shatner.


Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s