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The Speckled Band (1931)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 August 1931 (Ireland)
After her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, a young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather.



(story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (adaptation)

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Cast overview:
Sherlock Holmes
Nancy Price ...
Athole Stewart ...


Violet Stoner dies under mysterious circumstances in her bedroom at the gloomy mansion of her brutish stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Rylott. Because Violet had become engaged to be married, she stood to inherit a substantial annual allowance from her parents' estate but never survived to collect it. Her last words were "The Speckled Band!" Now, her sister Helen has become engaged, and the mercenary doctor views the event as money out of his pocket as she stands to get a yearly stipend too. When he orders her to start sleeping in her sister's bedroom, and she finds the bed bolted to the floor, she fears that a fate similar to Violet's will befall her. She turns to the residents of 221B Baker Street for help. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cringing in fear before some sinister and horrifying power of man or nature...a hell that would rob her of love and beauty! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 August 1931 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

A Tira Salpicada  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An interesting set up for this Sherlock Holmes tale. He works out from an office: he is in the inner office and his two secretaries in the outer office. This is equipped with "modern-for-that-time" equipment that supposedly has all the information available on all criminals. It seems that this is stored on cards - one can see a card sorter working and (perhaps) printing out to paper. One secretary, typing very rapidly, listens to a non-electrical recording on a cylinder through earphones a little like a stethoscope - the other secretary is upset as Sherlock Holmes knows even more about the criminal world and keeps modifying the system. Later he uses an unseen communications system to call a secretary from his (inner) office. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: From your clothes I would deduce - you're going to a wedding.
Dr. John Watson: [laughs heartily] At last I've got you. For once in your life you're wromg.
Sherlock Holmes: Wrong?
Dr. John Watson: I'm not going to a wedding! I'm coming from one!
Dr. John Watson: [Watson again enjoys a hearty laugh]
Sherlock Holmes: [sardonically] Give them my congratulations or perhaps condolences.
Dr. John Watson: Rubbish! We all come to it, my dear fellow.
Dr. John Watson: [he laughs again] We all come to it. Goodbye.
Sherlock Holmes: [alone, ironically and sadly, after Watson has left] Not all, my dear Watson... not all.
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User Reviews

discuss opening
4 August 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw this film in 1931at a time when most British movies creaked

along. As I recall, this was a cut above most of its contemporaries,

with convincing performances b y Massey, Baddeley and Harding.

Most impressive was the opening: camera ranged through the

dark halls and passages of an old English manor in a sustained

dolly shot to the eerie sound of some kind of Indian wind

instrument. The sequence ended with a jump cut to the face of a

young woman, screaming in her death throes. Most alarming and

impressive. For me it ranks with one of he best shock openings

I've ever seen. Today, they'd probably play such a scene before the

main title.

An interesting footnote: In later life, Angela Baddeley, the heroine,

was to play Mrs. Hudson, the cook, in the unforgettable British

series, Upstairs, Downstairs.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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