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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

6.8
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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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Title: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Kaaren Verne ...
Charlotte Eberli
William Post Jr. ...
Dr. Franz Tobel
Dennis Hoey ...
Holmes Herbert ...
Sir Reginald Bailey
Mary Gordon ...
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Storyline

Starting in Switzerland, Sherlock Holmes rescues the inventor of a bomb-sight which the allies want to keep from the Nazis. Back in London it sems that the inventor is not all that he seemed. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Weapon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of Universal's Sherlock Holmes series in which Dennis Hoey appeared as Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. See more »

Goofs

The mercs wait outside to grab Dr. Tobel when he comes back out after visiting his fiancée, so they would have had no way of knowing that Dr. Tobel had written a coded message or where he had hidden it in Miss Eberli's apartment; they could not have informed Professor Moriarty about it, either, or told him where the coded message was so that he could stealthily retrieve it later while posing as an electrician. See more »

Quotes

Professor Moriarty: [as Moriarty drains Holmes's blood] Drop by drop, Holmes. Drop by drop. Eh, in a way I'm almost sorry. You were a stimulating influence to me. But it was obvious that I should win in the end... Closer to the end Holmes. Closer and closer. Each second a few more drops leave your desiccated body. And you can feel them can't you? You're perfectly conscious, aren't you, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: I shall be conscious long after you're dead, Moriarty.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Scarlet Claw (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Heard as Sherlock Holmes leaves the Golden Hawk
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sherlock Holmes versus...the Nazis?
13 February 2006 | by (Nowhere Interesting) – See all my reviews

It was an interesting enough idea, I suppose, to set a series of Sherlock Holmes films in the "modern day"...at the time, the WWII era...but those who are familiar with the first two Rathbone/Bruce films might be thrown off by it. When the rights passed from Fox to Universal, the two stars were retained, but apparently our two heroes stepped through a hole in the space-time continuum. The Fox films were Victorian period pieces, whereas Universal took the opportunity to utilize Sherlock Holmes in the series of modern-day B-movies into which this entry falls, several of which were fairly standard wartime propaganda...pretty much the order of the day for Hollywood films circa 1942-1945.

While the film may boast some entertainment value, the plot is actually quite silly. Sherlock Holmes (sporting a remarkably bad haircut) has been charged with the task of guarding Dr. Franz Tobel, the inventor of a bomb sight (which, when you see it, will give you an idea of what the film's budget was) that will apparently revolutionize airborne warfare. Holmes's task is to keep Tobel safe (at which he fails) and to keep the bomb sight out of the hands of the Nazis. When Tobel is abducted, Holmes must unravel a coded message before his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty does. Though the credits state that the film is an adaptation of Conan Doyle's story, The Dancing Men, only the code itself is taken from said story. And a small reference to another story, The Empty House, also shows up early in the film. Apart from that, you'll find no Conan Doyle here.

Interestingly enough, what makes Tobel's bomb sight so remarkable, apart from the fact that the bombs seem to land where they're supposed to, is never expounded upon...leaving the viewer to assume that both Allied and German bomb sights were abysmally inaccurate, as both sides are clamoring to get their hands on one that actually works. Probably not the best way to bolster confidence in the Allied fighting machine...but then, logic is scarce in this outing. Holmes relies just as heavily upon chance and educated guesses as he does upon deduction, and it's the bumbling Watson (who was never bumbling in the original stories) who inadvertently provides the solution to the major stumbling block (despite the fact that the solution should have been obvious to someone as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes).

All in all, this film has its moments, but fails to live up to the legend of the world's greatest detective. Rathbone is a fine Holmes and Bruce (despite the almost unforgivable dumbing down of the Watson character) does a good job, as well. But much of the supporting cast seem to be phoning in their performances. The production values are rather noticeably low and the script is fairly ludicrous. I still watch this one from time to time, and certainly prefer it over Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (the first Universal Holmes entry)...but I can't help but think that Sherlock Holmes deserves better than this.

Interesting sidenote - This film contains the series' one and only reference to Sherlock Holmes's hypodermic cocaine usage. As Holmes is describing to Moriarty an elaborate hypothetical death scenario involving an intravenous needle, Moriarty interjects "The needle to the last...eh, Holmes?" How this managed to slip by the censors at the Breen Office (which, at the time, strictly forbade such references) is perhaps the one great mystery to be found in this film.


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80 minute UK version? rory-100
Did Dr. Tobel Feel Any Remorse After His Colleagues' Murders? Attillio
Did Moriarty...? jessicahjoy87
Holmes fighting the nazis!!! arbesudecon
Rathbone's voice davidnsmall
Colorized versions mustangp51b

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