Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Nancy Drew

The Nancy Drew books have always been so popular from the first books in 1930 that you'd think that movies would have been a sure thing.
Television has certainly made periodic tries starting in the 1970's with Pamela Sue Martin.
But movies?
Warner Brothers did try in 1938.
Really.
But they made a few boo-boos.
For starters, there was Ned Nickerson.
Except there wasn't Ned Nickerson because they changed his name to Ted for some unexplainable reason.
Miss Maven thinks that maybe Warner's thought "Ned Nickerson" sounded like a sissy.
Come to think of it, he does end up in a dress or three!
All in the name of a good cause, of course!
And what happened to Hannah Gruen, the Drews' housekeeper?
She became Effie in Nancy Drew, Detective in 1938.
Excuse Miss Maven while she stops laughing. . . .
Effie was Hannah's niece in the original versions of Nancy Drew and about as much help as Zasu Pitts.
(And anybody who doesn't know who Zasu Pitts was is at the wrong blog!)
Nancy was changed from a self-assured, socially confident and independent teenager to a pain in the . . . (pick your favorite body part).
Ms. Drew did whatever she could think of, including bullying, to get "Ted" (Frankie Thomas, Jr.) to do her bidding, even when it might (and did) mean losing his job.
What makes her "know-it-all" attitude is seeing her relationship with her father.
In Nancy Drew, Reporter, we are treated to a cutesy scene of Drew putting his daughter to be like she's either five-years-old or an idiot.
Miss Maven isn't sue which group should be more insulted.
Should you watch them?
Yes, as long as you know what you're getting into!
The basic stories are good, two being from the actual original books.
Nancy Drew, Detective is from The Mystery at Larkspur Lane and stays fairly faithful to the book.
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939) was based on The Hidden Staircase and was the last movie for decades.
No wonder.
The original story had Nancy sleuthing pretty much by herself and Ned wouldn't make his appearance for several more books.
There wasn't any chauffeur dying on the job (suicide, murder or alien-kidnapping) OR a race track syndicate!
Bottom line:
Watch them if you've never read the original books.
If you have . . . .
Miss Maven recommends watching them as parodies, if necessary, but do watch them!
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If you have any comments, questions or suggestions or would like a list of her new Maven's Reviews, you can reach Miss Maven at theoldmoviemaven@yahoo.

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