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Nancy Drew

At the Movies and on Television

The Warner Brothers Years 1938-1939

It was just eight years after the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories had begun its record-breaking seventy-three years and counting literary run that Warner Brothers decided to produce Nancy Drew: Detective (1938), the first of four Nancy Drew movies. Bonita Granville, who at the time was known for playing bratty kid roles, was selected for the part of Nancy Drew. Granville must have done something right because Nancy Drew: Detective, was an immediate hit with Drew fans. Three more were made over the next year: Nancy Drew: Reporter (1939, available on VHS and DVD), Nancy Drew: Troubleshooter (1939), and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939). Granville did lend an air of brattiness to Nancy's character, and had her doing things Nancy would have never done in the books.

The Nancy Drew of the 1930s wore sweet cotton frocks while trailing the local gangsters in her smart, low-swung roadster, complete with a rumble seat. Her father did warn her about the dangers of her sleuthing, but she didn't care. Nancy still got into more trouble than the average 16-year-old of the day. Check one of these out next time you want to sharpen your detective skills with a 1930s flair.

The cast:

Bonita Granville -- Nancy Drew
Frankie Thomas -- Ted (Ned) Nickerson
John Litel -- Carson Drew
Frank Orth -- Captain Tweedy
Renie Riano -- Effie Schneider
Directed by William Clemens
Screenplays by Kenneth Gamet

Bonita Granville was only fifteen years old when she began filming Nancy Drew: Detective.

Nancy Drew

At the Movies and on Television

The ABC Years

In 1977, Nancy Drew donned her double-knit pantsuit and set out with her friends George Fayne and Ned Nickerson to solve her very first mystery on television. Millions of girls sat spell-bound in front of their television sets, anxiously waiting to see if Nancy could solve the puzzling incidents in her hometown, River Heights USA. The Nancy Drew Mysteries television show of the 1970s was saturated in cultural influences. Nancy danced to disco, drove a groovy blue sports car and even teamed up with the Hardy Boys (wearing their leisure suits) to bust crime the 70s way. Her glamourous adventures included posing as a world-famous professional tennis player, solving mysteries aboard cruise ships and overthrowing counterfeit gangs.

What adventure! What romance! What intrigue!

The cast:
Pamela Sue Martin -- Nancy Drew
Janet Louise Johnson (Janet Julian) -- Nancy Drew (1978)
William Schallert -- Carson Drew
Jean Rasey -- George Fayne (1977)
Susan Buckner -- George Fayne (1978)
George O'Hanlon Jr. -- Ned Nickerson
Directed by Jack Arnold and Noel Black

Nancy Drew Episodes:
First Season:

Mystery of Pirate's Cove
The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle
Secret of the Whispering Walls
A Haunting We Will Go
Mystery of the Fallen Angels
Mystery of the Ghostwriter's Cruise
Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker

Second Season
The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part I
The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part II
The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom, Part I **Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Episode**
The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom, Part II **Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Episode**
Nancy Drew's Love Match
Will the Real Santa Claus..?
The Lady on Thursday at Ten
Voodoo Doll, Part I **Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Episode**
Voodoo Doll, Part II **Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Episode**
Arson and Old Lace **Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Episode**

Once during a nighttime filming of The Nancy Drew Mysteries, Jean Rasey (aka George Fayne) was blinded by bright lights and nearly drove into a lamp post.

Nancy Drew

At the Movies and on Television

The Canadian Series

1995, Nelvana Television produced a Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series featuring -- of all things-- a brunette Nancy Drew (Tracy Ryan) living on her own and going to college. The series lasted only one season, and produced 13 episodes. It was shot in Paris, France, and Toronto, Canada. The short-lived series was broadcast in Canada, France, Germany and the United States. Some covers of The Nancy Drew Files featured stills from the series instead of the usual art, along with an advertisement for the new series.

The cast:
Tracy Ryan -- Nancy Drew
Joy Tanner -- George Fayne
Jhene Erwin -- Bess Marvin
Scott Speedman -- Ned Nickerson
Paul Popowich -- Joe Hardy
Colin Gray -- Frank Hardy
Produced by Michael Klein

Nancy Drew Episodes:

Welcome to the Callisto
Happy Birthday, Nancy
The Ballad of Robin Hood
Bridal Arrangements
Death and Life of Billy Feral
Double Suspicion
The Stranger by the Road
Photo Finish
Who's Hot, Who's Not
Fashion Victim
The Long Journey Home

In France, this series was known as "Alice et les Hardy Boys"