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Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)
"The Sleeping Cardinal" (original title)

 |  Crime, Mystery  |  February 1931 (UK)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 190 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

A card cheat is threatened with exposure into joining a criminal enterprise that Holmes believes is controlled by Professor Moriarty.

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(stories), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Wontner ...
Ian Fleming ...
Dr. John Watson (as Jan Fleming)
Minnie Rayner ...
Leslie Perrins ...
Jane Welsh ...
Norman McKinnel ...
William Fazan ...
Thomas Fisher
Sydney King ...
Tony Rutherford (as Sidney King)
Philip Hewland ...
Inspector Lestrade (as Phillip Hewland)
Gordon Begg ...
Marston, the butler
Louis Goodrich ...
Harry Terry ...
No. 16
Charles Paton ...
J.J. Godfrey
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Storyline

Card cheat Ronald Adair hears a disembodied voice coming from a painting of a cardinal threatening him with exposure and disgrace unless he becomes part of a criminal conspiracy involving counterfeit money. Adair is reluctant and is later found shot in the head in a bank. Holmes rightly suspects that his arch-enemy Moriarty, the master of disguise, is behind the plot. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

February 1931 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in the 1.20:1 early sound ratio, the latter day conversion to 1.37:1 results in many of the players' heads being cropped off the top of the screen in numerous shots. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: May I offer you a piece of advice? Never give in to sudden impulses. They're even more dangerous than you and I am.
See more »

Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Filmed Stage Play
26 November 2012 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

That may not be what the producer and director of "Sherlock Holmes Fatal Hour" had in mind, but that's what this picture is in essence. I tried to make allowances for a 1931 movie, as I imagine fluid, mobile camera-work came shortly thereafter, and one can excuse the lack of camera movement or location shots.

That said, I did not feel as confined as some other reviewers, or as bored, either. That is because I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Arthur Wontner as Holmes. I must confess I, too, kept comparing his with Basil Rathbone's, who I always thought owned the role. Having seen Wontner as Holmes I now have doubts who I prefer, as Wontner brings an extra measure of dignity and mental acuity to the role.

The plot is pretty straightforward, about a civil servant/card cheat blackmailed by Prof. Moriarty into a dishonest venture. No twists, no surprises, just actors doing their job in an interesting story. I did think Ian Fleming as Watson overacted and seemed ill at ease in his role. Very worth a look, if only to compare Wontner to Basil Rathbone - and you may be in for a surprise on that score.


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