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 ... See full summary »
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>
The earliest talkie Sherlock Holmes at present available, "Conan Doyle's Master Detective Sherlock Holmes" (to give the movie its full title) will probably outrage Conan Doyle purists. (Although actually credited to William Gillette's stage adaptation, the script bears but two or three faint resemblances to that either). The film is really an original creation, using Doyle characters. It stars an unusually adventurous Clive Brook (in his third impersonation of the sleuth), supported by Ernest Torrence as an engrossingly charismatic, menacing Moriarty. So far, so good. But now we are introduced to the lovely Miriam Jordan (in her second of only seven films) who plays Holmes' fiancée! She has quite a sizable role too, especially compared to Dr Watson (Reginald Owen) who figures in only two scenes, his line-feeding duties being undertaken here by Howard Leeds (his first of only three movies) as Little Billy. There is no Lestrade, alas, but Alan Mowbray creditably fills in the Scotland Yard gap as Gore-King. Although the movie also accommodates no less than three extraneous comic scenes with Cockney publican, Herbert Mundin (whose role has obviously been built up by playwright Bayard Veiller, credited with additional dialogue), and thus occasionally seems too talky (even at 68 minutes), it does have some splendid Moriarty atmosphere (the trial) and action (the escape), most ably contrived by director William K. Howard.
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