When Nazi saboteurs jeeringly predicts to the nation of new depredations via their radio Voice of Terror, the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone)to help in ... See full summary »
Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.
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
SHERLOCK HOLMES' FATAL HOUR (1931) shows its age as a creaky early talkie, and the mystery isn't particularly thrilling. But Arthur Wontner is fantastic in the role of Sherlock Holmes and it's a real treat to see him play the sleuth here (for the first of several times).
Holmes is up against his arch-rival, the elusive Prof. Moriarty, the brain behind a vast criminal organization. It's true that there's very little action in this film, but listening to Wontner (as Holmes) explain his deductions and seeing him face off against his nemesis is fun stuff. The subplot about the card cheat gets tedious and it's a little annoying how Watson and Lestrade can never keep up with even the simplest jumps in Holmes's logic ("No one could've shot into this window from street level. And why are you blabbering about trees?"), but it's an enjoyable flick for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's detective.
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