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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,208 users  
Reviews: 59 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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Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

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When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders.

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

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Holmes is recruited to escort the heir to a European throne safely back to his homeland after his father's assassination.

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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 last Sherlock Holmes film made at 20th Century Fox. See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Holmes closes the door in a closeup shot smoking his pipe. As the camera cuts to a wide shot the pipe is gone. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Elementary, my dear Watson.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) 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

 
Classy Crime Caper
25 July 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES takes him into deadly conflict with Britain's most dangerous criminal mastermind, Professor Moriarty.

20th Century Fox takes us back to the foggy London streets of 1894 in these exciting exploits of the world's most famous private consulting detective. The production values are of a high order in this story based on William Gillette's stage play about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's celebrated characters. Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce return as Holmes and Watson, perfectly portraying that legendary literary partnership with good grace and cheerfulness, Rathbone allowing some traces of humanity to infuse Holmes' cerebral haughtiness, and Bruce, bumbling and big-hearted, enacting the embodiment of a staunch companion and friend.

Unfairly relegated to 6th place billing is George Zucco, marvelous as Moriarty. He presents us with a consummate villain of enormous intellect & subtle nuance, a monster passionate about his exotic plants but indifferent to human life. It is highly enjoyable watching him plot a dastardly crime while engaging in a masterful duel of wits with Holmes.

The other roles are also very well cast and highlight some fine British character actors: lovely Ida Lupino as a young woman frantic over an unknown evil stalking her family; handsome Alan Marshal as her family's lawyer; dignified Henry Stephenson as the worried Constable of the Tower of London; E.E. Clive as the dogged Scotland Yard inspector; and Mary Forbes as a kindly noblewoman who befriends Miss Lupino.

Some rather brief performances also enhance the whole: Mary Gordon as Holmes' grandmotherly landlady and young Terry Kilburn as his page boy; Peter Willes as Miss Lupino's terrified brother; elderly Frank Dawson as Moriarty's harassed butler; Holmes Herbert as a highly frustrated Law Court Justice; and William Austin as a stranger who has a peculiar encounter with Watson on a London sidewalk.

Two lighthearted moments especially standout -- Rathbone delightfully in disguise, and, at the very conclusion of the film, Watson deftly turning the tables on Holmes.

This was the second in a series of Holmes films starring Rathbone & Bruce which began at Fox Studios. It followed THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1939) and, after the jump to Universal Studios, preceded SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR (1942) three years later.


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