ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sleuthathon, a classic detective blogathon!

UPDATE: You can find the very latest roster (updated and organized) on this event page. Enjoy!

I love mysteries and I know I am not alone. Here is your chance to join me in celebrating the gumshoes of the classic screen.

Here are the particulars:

The event will take place on March 16 & 17, 2014.

You may choose any sleuth from movies or television made on or before 1965. (For TV shows, I shall give leeway to cover later dates as long as the show premiered before 1965.)

Types of detectives include:

Private investigators and consulting detectives (Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Sherlock Holmes)

Interested amateurs (Miss Marple)

Crusading reporters and attorneys (Torchy Blane, Perry Mason)

Ordinary folks motivated by self-preservation (Young Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt)

“They killed my wife/father/cousin/boss/mentor/lady-who-asked-me-for-help-but-I-didn’t-listen and I shall bring them to justice!”

“They don’t pay me enough for this!” Folks who run into a mystery as part of their job (doctors, clerks, nightclub entertainers, etc.)

And more!

In order to keep the event focused, I have decided to exclude police, government agents (FBI, CIA, MI5, MI6, OSS, KGB, FSB, CSIS, etc.) and spies from this event. (They can appear in the films but they must not be the primary investigator.) I know there are a lot of films that are borderline (ex-cops, characters only pretending to be spies, etc.) so if you are not sure if your film of choice qualifies, please feel free to ask. Many apologies for getting technical but the mystery genre is so vast that I felt the need to impose limits.

In the interest of keeping things fresh and varied, I am asking for no exact duplicates, please. However, I welcome coverage of different interpretations of the same character. For example, Sherlock Holmes has been played by dozens of actors. If Basil Rathbone is claimed, why not cover Clive Brook or Christopher Lee, among others? Also, I will allow different bloggers to cover either individual entries in a series or the overall series. For example, one blogger may choose to cover one of the Crime Doctor films while another will write about the series as a whole.

If you have never participated in a blogathon, check out my how-to article on the subject. It’s very easy and fun, too!

If you wish to participate, you can leave a comment or send me an email. Let me know the movie, series, show or character/actor combination you wish to cover and your day preference, if you have one. Be sure to snag a banner as well, they are at the bottom of the post. This is going to be fun!


Movies Silently | Sherlock Holmes (1922, John Barrymore)

The Vintage Cameo | The Thin Man (1934)

Margaret Perry | Hildegarde Withers as played by Edna May Oliver

Bella Karma | Lured (1948) (I know Lucille Ball is technically on the police force but she didn’t start out as a cop and quit before the ending)

Tales of the Easily Distracted | The Big Clock (1948)

Once Upon a Screen | Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)

Once Upon a Screen Guest Post | Nick & Nora, an overall examination of The Thin Man Series by Sarah (@ImSarahO)

Destroy All Fanboys | Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Big V Riot Squad | William Gillette, Sherlock playwright and Sherlock actor in the lost 1916 film

A Shroud of Thoughts | Murder, My Sweet (1944, Dick Powell)

Cinematic Catharsis | The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, Peter Cushing, Hammer Studios)

The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear | Johnny Staccato (1959-1960 TV series) | Richard Diamond (1957-1960 TV series)

Silver Screenings | A Shriek in the Night (1933)

Wide Screen World | Warner Oland’s take on Charlie Chan

The Girl with the White Parasol | The Phantom Lady (1944)

A Person in the Dark | The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Girls Do Film | The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Speakeasy | Eyes in the Night (1942)

The Joy and Agony of Movies | The Killers (1946 and 1964)

Outspoken & Freckled | Perry Mason as played by Warren William (1934-1936)

Nitrate Diva | The Falcon Series (George Sanders, Tom Conway)

Caftan Woman | Perry Mason (1957-1966 TV series)

The Stalking Moon | The Joel and Garda Sloan Mysteries (Fast Company, Fast and Loose, Fast and Furious, 1938-1939)

Critica Retro | Philo Vance as played by William Powell

Classic Movie Hub | A Shot in the Dark (1964) I know Clouseau is a policeman but you can hardly say that he was any good at sleuthing.

Marlee Waters | Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes

The Motion Pictures | Dressed to Kill (1941)

Silver Scenes | Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple + The Detective (Father Brown, 1954)

Ramblings of a Cinephile | Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

The Man on the Flying Trapeze | The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, 1946)

Cary Grant Won’t Eat You | The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Move Classics | Stage Fright (1950)

Mildred’s Fatburgers | The Torchy Blane Series

Mike’s Take on the Movies | Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

The Consulting Detective | A Study in Terror (John Neville, 1965)

Ferdy on Films | Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

The Land of Whatever | Philip Marlowe series (1959-60) and Ellery Queen Series (1950-52)







84 Replies to “ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sleuthathon, a classic detective blogathon!”

  1. Ooh, fun! May I do The Thin Man, or one of the sequels if the first one has been claimed already? Thanks!
    // Emily, The Vintage Cameo

  2. I’d like to write about Hildegarde Withers as played by Edna May Oliver in the films PENGUIN POOL MURDER (1932), MURDER ON THE BLACKBOARD (1934), and MURDER ON A HONEYMOON (1935).

      1. Sorry to be such a pain in the royal behind, but I was wondering if I could change my topic to something that may or may not fit under your rules? 😀
        I’d like to write instead about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012) and Mrs. Bradley Mysteries (1998). I know they are modern shows, but they take place in the 1920s/30s. It’s difficult to find contemporary shows/movies about strong female sleuths, but do these count as retrospective fictional female sleuths? Maybe? They are super-feminist and awesome and jazzy, but of course if you nix it I will go back to Ms Withers. Only it’s surprisingly difficult to find juicy background info on the Withers movies… Anyway, whichever you say is fine with me.

      2. Hi there! I love the idea of bringing historical mysteries but I have already turned down several folks who wanted to bring in titles past the cutoff date. However, if you were to do a more general article on powerful female detectives and bring in, say, Ms Withers or some other classic lady sleuths, I wouldn’t have a problem with you discussing the later shows as well. (For example, I am covering the 1922 Sherlock Holmes but I will also spend some time writing about the 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes and discussing the parallels.) I hope this isn’t too fussy for you. I look forward to whatever you choose to cover!

      3. All right. I’ll have to give it a good think. I’m sadenned by how little info I’ve found about the Miss Withers movies and about Edna May Oliver herself. Bummer. I did think of writing about the AMAZING female mystery writers of the 20s and 30s, but then we’re off movies altogether. I will do some serious brainstorming. Thanks for getting back to me! xx M

      4. The writer angle would be fun. As long as it has a tenuous link to movies, I am cool with the idea. For example, Mary Roberts Rinehart’s Circular Staircase was the basis for the 1926 film The Bat, which was the primary inspiration for Batman. Agatha Christie’s novels have been made into films since the 20’s. Dorothy Sayers wrote a script in the 1930’s. Plenty of juicy stuff there.

  3. Fritzi, I’ve actually been wanting to blog about the 1948 movie version of THE BIG CLOCK with Ray MIlland and Charles Laughton! I’d be thrilled to be part of your Sleuthathon, if you’ll have me! Please let me know! Either way, I’m excited about the Sleuthathon — kudos on a great idea!

      1. Hooray! Thanks for including me in your swell Sleuthathon, Fritzi! I’m excited already with THE THIN MAN and Hildegarde Withers among the all-star cast! 😀 I’ll also post an ad on TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED to help spread the good Sleuthathon word!

  4. Saaaay, does Mike Hammer and his “always getting beat up while he’s trying to solve a case” ways count here? If so, Kiss Me Deadly is my pick to scribble a bit about…

  5. Oh – I am so in. I’d like to write about 1977’s “The Late Show” starring Art Carney & Lily Tomlin please!

    1. Hi there! Much though I love both Art Carney & Lily Tomlin, the film is past the cutoff date of 1965. But I would absolutely love to have you aboard so let me know if you have an alternate selection. 🙂

  6. Hi Fritzi. Can I play too? I’d like to claim the Hammer version of

    The Hound of the Baskervilles, if it’s not already spoken for.

  7. Ohhh, what a great idea. Please, please, please may I write about The Maltese Falcon, if it hasn’t been taken? Also, I know it’s not the place to say – but I love you blog make-over, it looks wonderful!

  8. Hi, Fritzi! If insurance investigators count, I’d like to do The Killers (1946), and maybe compare it with the 1964 remake (certainly, he’s an interested amateur sleuth, even though he’s a professional killer).

  9. I love a good mystery, so count me in please! If possible, I’d like to write about “The Falcon” series RKO did in the 1940s. I’ll probably focus on “The Falcon’s Brother.”

  10. I want to cover Warren William’s District Attorney character Perry Mason- is that okay? Great blogathon idea!

  11. Great idea for a blogathon! I’d like to chime in with a look at the trio of films about husband and wife sleuths, Joel and Garda Sloane, FAST COMPANY (1938) , FAST AND LOOSE and FAST AND FURIOUS (both 1939).

      1. I’d love to participate! I am doing a series on Sherlock Holmes on my blog this spring, and for the blogathon I’d like to contribute on Basil Rathbone. Should I choose a specific film, or could I cover all of his as Holmes?

      2. Yay! Basil has a home! You can either cover a specific film or write an article about Basil and Holmes, whichever you prefer.

  12. Hooray! Can I have the detective Philo Vance (William Powell) is his series of films, that inclue The Kennel Murder Case and Th Canary Murder Case?

    1. Okay, sounds good! Technically, Clouseau is a policeman but since he is completely useless in that capacity, I will let it in. 🙂

  13. Hi, I’ve never participated to a blogathon before but this one sounds like fun! I was thinking about Witness for the Prosecution, the combination Laughton/Christie is brilliant. Technically it’s more a courtroom mystery, does it still qualify?

    1. Sounds great! Perry Mason is already in the house so I see no harm in inviting Mr. Laughton as well. Plus, I was hoping someone would cover an Agatha Christie plot. Welcome aboard!

  14. Terrific idea Fritzi! Could we snag two? The Nancy Drew Mysteries ( Bonita Granville ) and Father Brown in The Detective ( 1954 )? Although, I must admit covering Sidney Toler’s Charlie Chan films sounds mighty enticing too…

    Diana & Constance Metzinger,
    Silver Scenes

    1. Hi there! Yes, I will put you down for both Nancy and Father Brown. Let me know if you decide to add Tolder’s Charlie Chan. Welcome to the event!

      1. Change of plans! We’re going to write about the Miss Marple films ( Margaret Rutherford ) in place of Nancy Drew. My sister and I wrote a long piece about the Nancy Drew tv series recently and we touched on the Granville films then, so we want to cover Rutherford’s lovable Marple instead.

  15. Fritzi, I’m all a-twitter (so to speak :-)) for these fabulous Blogathons, from the Sleuthathon to the Diamond & Gold Blogathon to the Romantic Comedy Blogathon! I need a scoreboard to keep track, but I’m looking forward to all of them! 🙂

      1. I am keeping things casual so either day is fine. Just send me a link to your post and that’s it! 🙂

  16. Hello! Your blogathon sounds great. I was hoping that I could review “A Study in Terror” from 1965 – the first Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper movie and starring John Neville as the detective.

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