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Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Sir Evan Barham
...
R.F. Meade
...
Anthony Lloyd
...
General Jerome Lawford
Olaf Hytten ...
Fabian Prentiss
Leyland Hodgson ...
Captain Roland Shore
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Storyline

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in the crisis. Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), are visited the first night of their investigation; a man falls dying from a knife wound on their doorstep. His last word leads Holmes into the slums where he encounters Kitty (Evelyn Ankers), the sweetheart of the slain man. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@sudenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Conan Doyle's gripping books! From your favorite radio mystery! THE MASTER MINDS OF MYSTERY...leap to life to challenge the menace of modern crime! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

18 September 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes Saves London  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As in nearly all television series from the 1950s up until about the 1990s, the opening credits to the twelve Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films made by Universal, and set in what was then modern times, were almost identical, with the camera first panning upwards from the floor to show Holmes and Watson, and the moving shadows of both shown for the rest of the credits. The same opening music was used in all twelve films. See more »

Goofs

The opening montage gives a list of the Voice of Terror's broadcasts: Sunday February 5th, Thursday March 23rd, Friday May 12th, Saturday July 1st, Tuesday August 8th, and Tuesday September 19th (actually the day after the genuine Nazi propaganda broadcasts began to be transmitted on radio). These dates all equate to 1939, the majority well before WWII officially broke out on September 1st of that year. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Voice of Terror: [off-screen] Germany broadcasting. Germany broadcasting. People of Britain, greetings from the Third Reich. This is the voice you have learned to fear. This is the Voice of Terror. Again, we bring you disaster: crushing, humiliating disaster. It is folly to stand against the mighty wrath of the Fuhrer. Do you need more testimony of his invincible might to bring you to your knees? Very well. Are you ready, Operative Number 7? This is the Voice of Terror. A secret airplane factory ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

SHERLOCK HOLMES, the immortal character of fiction created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is ageless, invincible and unchanging. In solving significant problems of the present day he remains - as ever - the supreme master of deductive reasoning. See more »

Connections

Followed by Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Elementary Dear Watson, this was not made by 20th Century Fox!
20 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've read some of the reviews regarding this film and there seems to be a grave misunderstanding regarding this film.

Many list it as the third in the "series" of Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone, but that's quite inaccurate.

This film was not the 3rd in a series, following "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes.

"The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes were a series aborted by 20th Century Fox because of the start of WWII.

With the start of WWII, 20th Century Fox decided these films, set in Victorian times, were far too elaborate and expensive to continue during war times. Thus, the entire series was dropped.

After this, Rathbone and Bruce continued doing Sherlock Holmes on the BBC as a series of radio productions. (this included Mary Gordon who always played Mrs. Hudson) With the success of the BBC radio serial, Universal pictures in 1942, picked up Rathbone and Bruce to play Holmes and Watson. However, because it was still during WWII, Universal decided to set their Holmes in what was modern times. Universal did this for extremely practical reasons which had nothing to do with artistic "interpretation." This was done as a cost cutting feature as the same sets and supporting actors (as any keen eye would notice) were then used in other films and vice versa. (The other films usually featuring Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. or Boris Karloff) Such a cost cutting feature would not have been possible had Universal set the films in Victorian, London.

Thus, "The Voice of Terror," although the third time for the team of Rathbone and Bruce, was the first film in the Sherlock Holmes series, for Universal pictures.

It is a grave misunderstanding to confuse the two series (the first by 20th Century Fox and the second by Universal). The first were made in the 30s in pre-war Hollywood with much larger budgets. The second were made during the war with the rationing and most understandable budget problems that accompanied such pictures of the day.

Which brings us to the subject of the Voice of Terror. It happens to be my favorite of the Universal Sherlock Holmes movies, despite it's short comings. Rathbone is still at the top of his game and doesn't have the "bored to death with Holmes" appearance he had by the time of his last Holmes film, "Dressed to Kill." Despite reusing the train crash from "The Invisible Man" the film has the tension and mystery intended to give audiences who still saw the Nazis as a real nightmare, instead of the pantomime joke they have become today.

Full of British patriotism and the stalwart attitude the British still display when their home is attacked as the recent London attacks prove. Thus, the "Voice of Terror" is not really as much archaic hokum as the modern, casual viewer might assume. Instead, the same attitudes in display today, remind us that the more times change, even with "Voice of Terror," the more they remain the same.

Thus, enjoy "The Voice of Terror" even though it is only VERY LOOSELY based on the Conan Doyle great detective. The film is still a lot of fun, and people forever when thinking of Holmes and Watson cannot fail to evoke the mental memory of Rathbone and Bruce.

Worth the Watch.


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