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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 1 September 1939 (USA)
The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director:

(as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as William Drake) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Billy
...
...
Sir Ronald Ramsgate
...
Inspector Bristol
...
Bassick
May Beatty ...
Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ...
Lloyd Brandon
...
Mrs. Hudson
...
Justice
...
Mateo
Mary Forbes ...
Lady Conyngham
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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 | Plot 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

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first adaptation where Sherlock Holmes uttered the phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson", which was never uttered in the original stories. See more »

Goofs

When Holmes is searching Moriarty's office as he crosses to turn on a light the wire from his lantern is visible. See more »

Quotes

Dawes: You wanted to see me, sir?
Professor Moriarty: I'm away for a few weeks, Dawes, and I come back to find my anthurium magenta, my incomparable anthurium magenta, withered, ruined...
Dawes: I can't understand it, sir; I took good care of all the plants.
Professor Moriarty: Did you water them?
Dawes: Every day, sir - just as you told me, sir.
Professor Moriarty: Then how does it happen that I find a spider's web spun across the spout of the watering can?
Dawes: That can happen overnight, sir.
Professor Moriarty: Overnight, huh? Then you didn't water them today?
Dawes: There's been so much to do, sir, ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931) 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

 
A lot of fun
16 December 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes and of Basil Rathbone, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The plot is very silly, but is compelling enough and enjoyable throughout the whole duration. The film is well paced and well directed too mostly, while the production values are very nice. The photography, scenery and costumes are beautiful, but what I loved most about Sherlock Holmes was its evocative and haunting foggy London atmosphere. The script is of top-notch quality as well, often intelligent, funny and sophisticated.

The acting I had no qualms with either. George Zucco is an interesting Moriaty and does really well of not being too sinister or too hammy, his performance was a nice balance I felt. Nigel Bruce is decent as Watson, though I can see why people are annoyed by his interpretation of the character. I liked the enthusiasm and blimpish bluster Bruce gave, but there are times here when he does come across as a little too clownish. However, he does have some believable chemistry with Basil Rathbone, who is just superb as a more charismatic and sophisticated not to mention very eloquent Holmes.

Overall, a lot of fun and a case of where any minor flaws are completely overrided by the many strengths. Recommended! 9/10 Bethany Cox


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