IMDb > The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 108% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edwin Blum (screenplay) and
William Absalom Drake (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 September 1939 (USA) See more »
The Struggle of Super-Minds in the Crime of the Century!
The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The most astounding crime of the Nineteenth Century Foxed See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Dr. Watson

Ida Lupino ... Ann Brandon
Alan Marshal ... Jerrold Hunter
Terry Kilburn ... Billy
George Zucco ... Prof. Moriarty
Henry Stephenson ... Sir Ronald Ramsgate
E.E. Clive ... Inspector Bristol
Arthur Hohl ... Bassick
May Beatty ... Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ... Lloyd Brandon
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Holmes Herbert ... Justice of the Court
George Regas ... Mateo
Mary Forbes ... Lady Conyngham
Frank Dawson ... Dawes
William Austin ... Inquisitive Stranger
Anthony Kemble-Cooper ... Tony Conyngham (as Anthony Kemble Cooper)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Baker ... Tompkins (uncredited)
Frank Benson ... Cockney (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Pub Customer (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Cragin (uncredited)
Robert Cory ... Tower Sentry (uncredited)
Neil Fitzgerald ... Clerk of the Court (uncredited)
Denis Green ... Sergeant of the Guard (uncredited)
Gordon Hart ... Guard (uncredited)
Ivo Henderson ... Bobby (uncredited)
Keith Hitchcock ... Constable (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Bobby (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... Bobby (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Marine Sergeant (uncredited)
Leonard Mudie ... Barrows - Moriarty's Attorney (uncredited)
Sol Murgi ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Robert Nobel ... Foreman of the Jury (uncredited)
Ivan F. Simpson ... Gates - Trial Prosecutor (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Cabby (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Conyngham Butler (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred L. Werker  (as Alfred Werker)
Writing credits
Edwin Blum (screenplay) and
William Absalom Drake (screenplay) (as William Drake)

William Gillette (play "Sherlock Holmes")

Arthur Conan Doyle  characters (uncredited)

Produced by
Gene Markey .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Robert Russell Bennett (uncredited)
David Buttolph (uncredited)
Cyril J. Mockridge (uncredited)
David Raksin (uncredited)
Walter Scharf (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Bischoff 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Hans Peters 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Costume Design by
Gwen Wakeling 
Production Management
Darryl F. Zanuck .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Eckhardt .... assistant director (uncredited)
Virgil Hart .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Music Department
Cyril J. Mockridge .... musical director
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:K-16 (1940) | UK:PG | USA:Approved (PCA #5486)

Did You Know?

Although William Gillette's name appears in the credits, this film bears little or no resemblance to his 1899 play "Sherlock Holmes".See more »
Continuity: (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 »
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, preparing for your coming back.
Professor Moriarty:Nothing is as important as the care of my flowers. Through your neglect, this flower has died. You've murdered a flower!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Sleepy Hollow: Behind the Legend (2000) (V)See more »
I Do Like To Be Beside the SeasideSee more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
The most astounding crime of the Nineteenth Century Foxed, 20 March 2005
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

The only other in-period Rathbone Holmes film, this is brim full of atmosphere and high production values, never mind about how good the acting and direction was too. The many long scenes were taken leisurely which enabled me to get a real feel for Victorian London with all the fog outside the Fox set windows. Sadly the one aspect slightly lacking was the story but only through the comparison to Hound, overall Adventures is easily the best of the rest and the best Holmes-Moriarty duel on film.

Rathbone and Zucco souped up the mental jousting and added something more to the legend, it really was a pity Zucco couldn't do the other two Moriarty outings at Universal. Although Atwill and Daniell were both excellent as well - maybe the part couldn't fail as Holmes' foil! Ida Lupino played her melodramatic part well, she could have smiled at least once though! Nigel Bruce as faithful Watson was perfect as usual, at one point even to lying down and rolling over in the gutter for his ... master.

All in all, a notch down from Hound but in quality a long drop down from this to the Universals, much as I love them too.

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Who's more incompetent? fred25_ca
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