The Speckled Band (1931)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  6 November 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 157 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

After her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, a young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather.



(story) (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 (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TERRIFIED! Maked for Death by the Words That Sealed Her Marriage! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 November 1931 (USA)  »

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?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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.
See more »


Version of Detective: The Speckled Band (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderfully Atmospheric
4 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is exactly the kind of thing I look for in an old Sherlock Holmes movie; atmospheric, almost Victorian, with old clichés played straight.

The villain almost twirls his mustache. The whole thing creates perfectly creepy suspense with beautiful camera work and expressionistic sets that still have that silent movie movie, though four or so years into the sound era. Montage sequences pop up frequently, and the actors are often caught in a profile. Shots are often in deep focus, with shafts of light illuminating a distant figure in white - most often the heroine, terribly vulnerable in the cavernous spaces of the derelict old mansion. Simple suspense techniques remain effective, and the movie conjures a far more convincing world of fairy-tale menace than the Sherlock Holmes movies of just a few years later, when the light gets flat, the sets get thin, and the puzzle aspect of the crime overwhelms the horror and suspense. To my way of thinking, Sherlock Holmes movies should have a Grand Guignol element that borders on the supernatural; the more they become just puzzling crimes, the less interesting they are.

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

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