Moriarty is sentenced to death, and Sherlock Holmes prepares to retire to the country and marry his girl (sic). But Moriarty has sworn that Holmes, Lt-Col Gore-King of Scotland Yard, and his trial judge shall all be hanged too. When Moriarty escapes and proceeds to put his threat into operation, Holmes has to postpone his retirement. Written by
Kieron O'Hara <email@example.com>
Clive Brook as Holmes has his hands full with Ernest Torrence as Moriarty
"Sherlock Holmes" is very badly underrated at a current 4.8 on IMDb. This is a well-above average entry.
For its year (1932) and in comparison with other creaky mysteries of the time, this is a real standout with sharp acting, lines delivered crisply, action-packed scenes, a very good story with good twists and surprise plus good conflict with Moriarty, and chiaroscuro photography that should make noir fans feel at home.
The story doesn't follow "tradition" in two respects, which are that Clive Brook (Holmes) is aiming to retire and marry Miriam Jordan, and in the outcome of the battle with Moriarty.
The story opens with Moriarty tried, convicted and headed for hanging. He makes several death threats at his trial and promises that Holmes' name will be dragged through the mud. He makes an escape and proceeds to put his clever plot into execution. There are some genuinely tense moments as his plot unfolds and as Holmes attempts to figure out and parry his moves. Equally clever are the ruses and counter-moves devised by Holmes. Torrence gives us a determined and clever Moriarty without undue histrionics. Another plus is the presence of Holmes's helper, Billy. Reginald Owen as Watson appears but has rather less to do in this film. He's not really part of the main action.
The staging in the action scenes is quite modern and shows no signs of being slow or dated. This helps make the movie as good as it is.
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