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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 189 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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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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.
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User Reviews

 
A major disappointment
3 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's nice that this film exists, but as it stands it's a major disappointment. Director Leslie Hiscott and cinematographers Sydney Blythe and William Luff get some nice proto-noir compositions into the first and last reels, but in between it's a very claustrophobic movie that seems to take place entirely indoors, either in the home of Ronald Adair or in Sherlock Holmes' and Dr. Watson's digs at 221B Baker Street. We know the film is set in 1930 instead of the 1890's because Holmes deduces that Watson is having trouble with his car, but we never see any cars — or much action of any kind. It's just eight reels of dull, ill-paced talk (where was Alfred Hitchcock when they needed him? Actually working at a bigger, more prestigious British studio than Twickenham!), sloppily recorded by Baynham Honri, who for some reason gets an on-screen credit in type as big as the director's. And though I usually respect the critical judgments of the late William K. Everson — who said Arthur Wontner was one of the two best actors ever to play Holmes — he's never convinced me in the role. He's perfectly adequate in the scenes showing Holmes as a cerebral "armchair detective" but utterly wrong for the neurotic man of action Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also intended Holmes to be. But then to me (to paraphrase the opening of the Conan Doyle Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia") Basil Rathbone (who looked uncannily like the Sidney Paget illustrations for the original Holmes stories and did both the cerebral and the active sides of the character consummately well) will always be THE Sherlock Holmes.


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