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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 195 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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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
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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: [to Moriarity] It's very interesting, Moriarity, but your five minutes is up!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

The Sleeping Cardinal (1931)
2 February 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)

** (out of 4)

British film was originally released under the title of THE SLEEPING CARDINAL but was renamed in the U.S. to put Holmes in the title. The film has a man shot dead in a bank yet no money was stolen and there appears to be no witnesses, no suspects and no real clues as to what happened. Holmes (Arthur Wontner) and Dr. Watson (Ian Fleming) are soon on the case and it might be Moriarty who has something to do with the killing. Based on the stories "The Empty House" and "The Final Problem", this Holmes effort was considered lost for many decades until a print finally turned up in the U.S. (with the American title) but the end results are pretty disappointing. I think the biggest sin any movie can make is being boring and sadly that's the case here because I really lost interest in the movie around the thirty-minute mark and hard to struggle to make it through to the end. There are some good things here but more on those later. I think the biggest problem is the screenplay that simply has way too much endless dialogue that just keeps going and going and going. It seems each scene could have been wrapped up with a few lines but instead everyone kept talking and sometimes the same things were being said over and over to the point where I really lost interest in what was going on. It also doesn't help that the majority of the actors are speaking very slowly and drawn out. Wontner would play Holmes in five different movies and I must admit that I enjoyed his performance. He gives a "thinking" performance as he takes his time to react to anything said to him and you can see the "thinking" going on with the character. Some might think this goes back to my complaint of things going too slowly but even thinking, Holmes moves faster than anyone else here. I also enjoyed (no not that) Fleming in the role of Watson as he plays it very serious without any humor. The rest of the performances weren't all that interesting to me. In the end, it's always a good thing when a lost film is discovered but as often is the case, the movie in question really doesn't turn out to be anything special.


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