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 »

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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.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Edward T. Lowe Jr. (screenplay) &
Scott Darling (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1943 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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:
Sherlock Holmes versus...the Nazis? See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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)
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 »
Runtime:
UK:80 min | USA:68 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
The set used for Professor Moriarty's hide out was used as a pub/bar in Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942).See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: 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:
Braun:French! English! How I hate those languages!
Mueller:Calm yourself, my dear Braun. In a short time there will *be* only one language.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)See more »
Soundtrack:
Rule BritanniaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Sherlock Holmes versus...the Nazis?, 13 February 2006
Author: james_oblivion from Nowhere Interesting

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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