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Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)

The Sleeping Cardinal (original title)

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Wontner ...
Sherlock Holmes
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

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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

Ronald Adair: [to his fellow bridge players as he leaves the game] No, don't get up. I hope you all win.
See more »

Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Soggy, Slow Dialog Deliveries
24 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Creaky and confined early talkie from the UK that is the first of five in this Sherlock Holmes series.

A few of the impressionistic scenes are impressive and lend what little atmosphere is available in the technological and limited restraints of the period. There are some interesting and odd little flourishes and we have some pre-code dialog like "oh my God" and "go to Hell" that would become no-no's in the years ahead.

While the dated delivery is the damper in this otherwise OK presentation and it looks theatrical, but is somewhat enhanced by the creepy characters and some dark and mysterious images. Holmes, Watson, Moriarty, La Strade, and Mrs. Hudson are all respectful renditions. The "game" afoot is complex and Sherlock's deductions are sound.

This long lost film is a welcome find for aficionados and an example of sound movies finding their way, and an artifact worth a view for its time and place. The biggest fault is not its confinement but its soggy and slow delivery of almost all of the dialog where it feels like they were not sure that the on set concealed microphone would catch every word.


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