IMDb > Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 4)
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon -- Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon -- Kidnappers of the inventor of a new wartime bombsight threaten to sell the invention to the Nazis.


User Rating:
6.8/10   3,799 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 46% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edward T. Lowe Jr. (screenplay) &
Scott Darling (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1943 (USA) See more »
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Middling effort. See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Doctor John H. Watson

Lionel Atwill ... Professor James Moriarty
Kaaren Verne ... Charlotte Eberli
William Post Jr. ... Dr. Franz Tobel
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Holmes Herbert ... Sir Reginald Bailey
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Martha Hudson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rudolph Anders ... Braun (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Barfly (uncredited)
Veda Ann Borg ... Bar Singer (voice) (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Swiss Waiter (uncredited)
John Burton ... RAF Officer (uncredited)
Vicki Campbell ... Woman RAF Pilot (uncredited)
Gerard Cavin ... Scotland Yard Man (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Jack Brady (uncredited)
James Craven ... RAF Officer Watching Bombsight Test (uncredited)
Harold De Becker ... Peg Leg (uncredited)
Jack Deery ... Military Officer (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Bobbie (uncredited)
George Eldredge ... Policeman Outside Durer's (uncredited)

Paul Fix ... Mueller (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... RAF Officer (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Scotland Yard Detective (uncredited)
Guy Kingsford ... Foot Patrolman (uncredited)
George Burr Macannan ... Gottfried (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... George (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ... Barfly (uncredited)

Henry Victor ... Professor Frederic Hoffner (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... Kurt (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
Writing credits
Edward T. Lowe Jr. (screenplay) (as Edward T. Lowe) &
Scott Darling (screenplay) (as W. Scott Darling) &
Edmund L. Hartmann (screenplay)

Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Dancing Men") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Scott Darling (adaptation) (as W. Scott Darling) &
Edward T. Lowe Jr. (adaptation) (as Edward T. Lowe)

Produced by
Howard Benedict .... associate producer
Original Music by
Frank Skinner 
Cinematography by
Lester White (director of photography) (as Les White)
Film Editing by
Otto Ludwig 
Art Direction by
Jack Otterson 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman  (as R.A. Gausman)
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Tummel .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Martin Obzina .... associate art director
Edward R. Robinson .... associate set decorator
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Paul Neal .... sound technician
Music Department
Charles Previn .... musical director
Richard Hageman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... musical arrangements (uncredited)
Other crew
Tom McKnight .... technical advisor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Secret Weapon" - USA (short title)
See more »
UK:80 min | USA:68 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:K-15 (2009) | Finland:K-18 (2003) (self applied) | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) (cut) | UK:PG (video rating) (1990) | USA:Approved (PCA #8660)

Did You Know?

Moriarty taunts Holmes by saying "The needle to the end, 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 »
Factual errors: Professor Moriarty's name is misspelled in the end credits as "Moriarity."See more »
Sherlock Holmes:Christmas boxes! Watson, I'm beginning to see the plan. Dr. Tobell divided his bombsight into four parts. He's given one of these four parts to each of these scientists. What a fascinating plan! You see, each of these parts is useless without the other three...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Great Mouse Detective (1986)See more »
Rule BritanniaSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Middling effort., 8 March 2004
Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA

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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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Holmes fighting the nazis!!! arbesudecon
This one was not really necessary udippel
Who is the forth man? Tenate9
Did Moriarty...? jessicahjoy87
Release date 1942 or 1943? chuckkahn
Sherlock and Allan from Tintin pjajvdm
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