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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,266 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 26 critic

The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director:

(as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

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Director: Arthur Berthelet
Stars: William Gillette, Marjorie Kay, Ernest Maupain
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ann Brandon
Alan Marshal ...
Jerrold Hunter
Terry Kilburn ...
Billy
George Zucco ...
Henry Stephenson ...
Sir Ronald Ramsgate
E.E. Clive ...
Inspector Bristol
Arthur Hohl ...
Bassick
May Beatty ...
Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ...
Lloyd Brandon
Mary Gordon ...
Holmes Herbert ...
Justice of the Court
George Regas ...
Mateo
Mary Forbes ...
Lady Conyngham
Edit

Storyline

Professor Moriarity has a scheme for stealing the crown jewels from the Tower of London. To get Holmes involved, he persuades a gaucho flute player to murder a girl. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Struggle of Super-Minds in the Crime of the Century!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. See more »

Goofs

The popular variety-hall song "I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" is performed at Lady Conyngham's party. This was composed in 1907, fifteen years after the film's 1892 setting. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Whatever Watson has found out, you'll know inevitably. I have unbounded confidence in his lack of discretion.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
(uncredited)
Written and Composed by John Glover Kind
Performed by Basil Rathbone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Battle Of The Titans At The Tower Of London
27 December 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes is not directly taken from any Arthur Conan Doyle story per se, it did have the best second hand source. With some changes it is the play that actor William Gillette toured in and was the first actor to be popularly identified with the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes is more of an action adventure hero than he normally is in books or on film. The very cerebral Basil Rathbone does get in a real knock down drag out fight with George Zucco as his arch rival Professor Moriarty on top of the Tower of London. How they both arrived there at the climax is the story of The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes.

Moriarty has foiled Holmes at the beginning of the film as he gets acquitted through reasonable doubt as Holmes arrives at Old Bailey too late with the crucial evidence. But Moriarty has a caper cooking that will make him the greatest in the annals of crime and will also embarrass his nemesis Holmes when it's pulled off. It's an especially murderous scheme that costs the lives of several people including a Moriarty henchman.

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes was the second of two films that Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson did for 20th Century Fox. For reasons I don't understand Darryl Zanuck opted not to make any more films and Universal picked up the series. This one and The Hound Of The Baskervilles have far more production values than any of the Universal films later done. Nigel Bruce is also not made an imbecile as Watson and does a bit more than comic relief.

There's a real treat for film fans with this movie as Basil Rathbone disguised as a music hall entertainer does a nice turn at a song and dance while guarding Ida Lupino. Ida's under threat for reasons she cannot figure out, but she goes to Holmes for help and chivalry is not dead in the United Kingdom.

George Zucco is a fine Moriarty, a cunning genius whose powers of observation and deduction are every bit as sharp as Holmes. That is brought out in this film like in no others with Moriarty I've seen.

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes is Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce at their heights as Holmes and Watson. I think both Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette would be proud.


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