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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 12 February 1943 (USA)
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Edward T. Lowe), (screenplay) (as W. Scott Darling) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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Sir. Reginald
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Storyline

Working for the British government, Sherlock Holmes manages to spirit Dr. Franz Tobel out of Switzerland and into England before the GESTAPO are able to get to him. Tobel has devised an immensely accurate bomb site and while he is willing to make it available to the Allies, he insists on manufacturing it himself. Soon however, he vanishes and it is left to Homes, assisted by the bumbling Dr. Watson, to decipher a coded message he left behind. Holmes soon realizes that he is up against his old nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

12 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Weapon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moriarty taunts Holmes by saying "The needle to the last, eh, Holmes?" Possibly a reference to Sherlock's cocaine habit, an important character element from the books. This could not be depicted openly in this series, due to film taboos of the time. Or maybe this line simply means that Holmes is a "needle" in Moriarty's side. See more »

Goofs

Professor Moriarty's name is misspelled in the end credits as "Moriarity." See more »

Quotes

Professor Moriarty: The needle to the last, ay, Holmes?
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SWITZERLAND See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Played in the score when London is shown
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User Reviews

 
Middling effort.
8 March 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The first two Rathbone/Bruce movies were pretty good. Not just because they were in period but because their production values were good and because some effort went into the script. Only the first, "The Hound of the Baskervilles", was based on a Conan-Doyle novella. The second was a pastiche made famous on the stage by Gillette.

Then the franchise was moved to Universal Studios and a series of mostly declining quality was established. This was an early example. It's not terrible, not embarrassingly bad, it just loses something in being updated to the 1940s and in not having the atmosphere Conan-Doyle managed to inject into his characters and into the atmosphere itself. Not to mention some of Conan-Doyle's sometimes unwittingly delicious bon mots -- "The wind sobbed like a child in the chimney."

"The Secret Weapon" doesn't tell us much we don't already know about Holmes and Watson. There is a variation on Conan-Doyle's "Dancing Men" but not really much else that's too interesting. I never cared much for Lionel Atwill as an actor, and he looks especially clunky as Moriarty. Moriarty should be a reptilian ectomorph with an oscillating head.

Still, this is okay for fans of the series. Homes wears his hair combed from back to front on the sides, which is a little different. I wish the code had allowed him to do some cocaine once in a while. The best of the Universal films was unquestionably "The Scarlet Claw," so if you have to choose, choose that one to watch.


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