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
Wontner makes a good Holmes and Fleming makes a good Watson. Mrs. Hudson is a down to earth mum, and Lestrade is a bumbler. Moriarty is etched rather nicely by Norman McKinnel.
The photography and action at the outset are intriguing.
Despite its faults, the acting carries the story. I do like this depiction of Holmes and Watson. I will watch the others done by Wontner, just as I've watched those done by Rathbone and Brett.
The fault is that it's done as a stage play, not as a movie. All or most all the action occurs off stage. In later years, the stories would be enacted quite differently and take advantage of a much broader range of locations. Being stage bound and set bound, it's a talk fest. Should that dissuade you from checking it out? No, I don't think so.
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