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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,151 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 25 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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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nigel Bruce ...
...
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 movie's line "Elementary, my dear Watson." was voted as the #65 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). See more »

Goofs

The balloon goblet with the flies is alternately covered and not covered in successive shots. See more »

Quotes

Inquisitive Stranger: [Watson is lying in the street in order to reconstruct a murder - a stranger stops and stares] I say, has something happened?
Doctor John H. Watson: Definitely. Would you mind stepping back a few paces?
Inquisitive Stranger: Not at all.
Doctor John H. Watson: Thank you.
Inquisitive Stranger: Perhaps I could find a doctor?
Doctor John H. Watson: I'm a doctor. What's the matter with you?
Inquisitive Stranger: I'm all right. I was thinking of you.
Doctor John H. Watson: Why?
Inquisitive Stranger: But aren't you ill?
Doctor John H. Watson: Certainly not. I'm dead.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) 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

 
Showdown between Geniuses.
2 January 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Every great hero needs at least one arch enemy that nearly is his equivalent in intellectual faculties and ingenious working methods. For Sherlock Holmes this nemesis is Professor Moriarty and the fact that he appears in this film first, moreover portrayed by the more-than-brilliant cult star George Zucco, makes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" maybe the single best entry in the long-running Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movie cycle! The sublime interactions between Holmes and Moriarty lift the quality of this film up to an higher level and, for the first time ever, you get the impression that our master detective is up against an opponent who really forces him to use ALL of his intellect for once. Almost purely for the fun of it, Professor Moriarty decides to embarrass Sherlock Holmes and steal the hugely valuable crown jewels right from under his nose. Through well thought out red herrings and distractions, Moriarty manages to confuse Holmes and to mess up his sense for priority, giving him with a perfect opportunity to steal the jewels. This installment is less of a horror film because the emphasis merely lies on the nuanced acting performances as well as on the light-hearted rivalry between Holmes and Watson. The Victorian setting & timing is excellent, and you should enjoy it as much as you can here, because the series got uplifted to the actual 1940's after this, resulting in a lot of redundant wartime propaganda. Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are splendid as usual, but the show is undeniably stolen by George Zucco in his familiar role of criminal mastermind. Particularly the sadistic yet sophisticated conversations with his butler are pure class. The only elements that slightly disappointed me was the rushed and action-packed ending which stands in contrast with the rest of the patiently scripted story. Nevertheless, highly recommended!


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