6.0/10
342
20 user 5 critic

The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case (1932)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 14 August 1932 (USA)
A young woman turns to Sherlock Holmes for protection when she's menaced by an escaped killer seeking missing treasure. However, when the woman is kidnapped, Holmes and Watson must penetrate the city's criminal underworld to find her.

Director:

Writers:

(adapted from the story by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (screen play by)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes takes a vacation and visits his old friend Sir Henry Baskerville. His vacation ends when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a double-murder mystery. Now he's got to ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Bentley
Stars: Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, Lyn Harding
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Holmes, retired to Sussex, is drawn into a last case when.arch enemy Moriarty arranges with an American gang to kill one John Douglas, a country gentleman with a mysterious past. Holmes' ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie S. Hiscott
Stars: Arthur Wontner, Lyn Harding, Leslie Perrins
Certificate: Passed Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In London, a secret society led by lawyer Thaddeus Merrydew collects the assets of any of its deceased members and divides them among the remaining members. Society members start dropping ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Reginald Owen, Anna May Wong, June Clyde
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Lionel Atwill
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dick Tracy goes up against a villain who robs banks using a nerve gas.

Director: John Rawlins
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ralph Byrd, Anne Gwynne
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

While filming the closing scene of "The Death Kiss", leading man Myles Brent is actually killed. Having played around with, or been married to, most of the women connected with the movie ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Adrienne Ames
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Patricia Morison
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nancy Drew, reporter for the school newspaper, clears a girl of murder charges.

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Bonita Granville, John Litel, Frankie Thomas
Comedy | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A sassy girl finds herself dead after trading bedrooms with her heiress friend. Her ghost seeks aid from banker Cosmo Topper to find out why and by whom.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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

Director: Leslie S. Hiscott
Stars: Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, Minnie Rayner
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Wontner ...
Sherlock Holmes
Isla Bevan ...
...
Graham Soutten ...
Miles Malleson ...
Herbert Lomas ...
Gilbert Davis ...
Margaret Yarde ...
Mrs. Smith
Roy Emerton ...
The Tattooed Man
Edit

Storyline

A young woman turns to Sherlock Holmes for protection when she's menaced by an escaped killer seeking missing treasure. However, when the woman is kidnapped, Holmes and Watson must penetrate the city's criminal underworld to find her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Zeichen der 4  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Roy Emerton. See more »

Goofs

In the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Holmes's residence and consulting room were located at 221B Baker Street in London. However, an early establishing shot in the film shows Holmes's address to be 22A Baker Street. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Small: Listen to me! How many times do I gotta knock it into your block that when you done something the law says you shouldn't, don't start changing the new places. It's then that you get spotted!
See more »

Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes Solves the Sign of the Four (1913) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Displaced Mind and Eye
23 February 2015 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

The form — at least as established in the Holmes stories and subsequent early detective fiction, has the reader experience things in the order the detective does. In the best, there is some tension as we know the detective is ahead of us in deducing the truth from the same information we have. If you deviate from this, there should be some value because the cost is relatively high.

Now here we have one of the earliest experiments with detective talkies and they went directly to Holmes. What they did here was break the rule in an odd and experimental way. All the history that we are supposed to discover is presented before we even meet Holmes. That is, the story is presented in the historical order of events instead of the order of discovery.

I cannot know the effect this had on the audience when it was new. This film is far closer to when the Holmes stories appeared than it is to me here now. But my guess is that it failed.

There is another experiment, and pretty interesting. Two scenes are shot from high. One of these has an established human perspective: Holmes climbs up a ladder and when he comes down, the camera stays there looking down. Later, when the big chase/fight climax is going on, we again have the camera at this angle — a little further away. The effect must have been striking to the contemporary audience.

These two decisions are at least consistent: we don't *see* things the way our detective does.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?