IMDb > The Pearl of Death (1944)
The Pearl of Death
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The Pearl of Death (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   2,630 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bertram Millhauser (screenplay)
Arthur Conan Doyle (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Pearl of Death on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 1944 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
THE SECRET OF THE GEM OF DOOM! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
Actors Who’ve Played the Same Character the Most Times
 (From Cinelinx. 12 May 2014, 10:16 PM, PDT)

Geek shows and movies on UK TV in the coming week
 (From Den of Geek. 11 November 2010, 9:15 AM, PST)

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepy Character Actors
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 27 April 2010, 5:12 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Cursed Black Pearl of the Borgias See more (50 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Evelyn Ankers ... Naomi Drake

Miles Mander ... Giles Conover

Ian Wolfe ... Amos Hodder
Charles Francis ... Digby
Holmes Herbert ... James Goodram
Richard Aherne ... Bates (as Richard Nugent)
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson

Rondo Hatton ... The Creeper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
J.W. Austin ... Police Sergeant Bleeker (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Second Ship's Steward (uncredited)

Billy Bevan ... Constable (uncredited)
Lillian Bronson ... Harker's Housekeeper (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... George Gelder (uncredited)
Harold De Becker ... Boss (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Police Sergeant Murdock (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Security Guard (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Customs Officer (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Security Guard (uncredited)
Charles Knight ... Bearded Man (uncredited)
Connie Leon ... Ellen Carey (uncredited)
Audrey Manners ... Body of Teacher (uncredited)
John Merkyl ... Dr. Julien Boncourt (uncredited)
Arthur Mulliner ... Thomas Sandeford (uncredited)
Arthur Stenning ... First Ship's Steward (uncredited)
David Thursby ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Conover's Chauffeur (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
 
Writing credits
Bertram Millhauser (screenplay)

Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Six Napoleons") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Produced by
Roy William Neill .... producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Sawtell (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Virgil Miller (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ray Snyder 
 
Art Direction by
John B. Goodman 
Martin Obzina 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Edward R. Robinson  (as E.R. Robinson)
 
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Melville Shyer .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Joe Lapis .... sound technician
 
Music Department
Paul Sawtell .... musical director
William Lava .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Raymond Kessler .... dialogue director (as Ray Kessler)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
Runtime:
69 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:(Banned) (1948) | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #10184)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Shooting lasted from April 11-May 1, 1944, released September 22.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At around 44 minutes, the newspaper says "srriking" instead of "striking".See more »
Quotes:
Sherlock Holmes:Watson, look sharp, will you? Go to that door to the alley, and do exactly as I tell you.
Dr. John H. Watson:Huh?
Sherlock Holmes:No, not "huh". Just do it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes (1985) (V)See more »

FAQ

Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The Cursed Black Pearl of the Borgias, 11 April 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

In 1903 Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a short story called "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons". In it Inspector Lestrade tells Holmes and Watson of a strange series of seemingly unrelated crimes in which houses are burglarized and bric-a-brac smashed. Is it the work of a madman or an intelligent criminal? Holmes discovers the running link in the crimes - in each case a cheap bust of Emperor Napoleon I was smashed. Then the crimes become deadlier - a man is murdered at the site of one of the smashups (the home of a newspaperman named Harker - a name retained in the movie by a minor victim). Holmes soon finds out that the busts came from a store where a man who fits the description of the criminal worked. This criminal is captured. The final one of the six busts is found, and broken before Watson and Lestrade by Holmes. And out pops the world's rarest black pearl, the Borgia Pearl.

Of course the story is more fully fleshed out by Conan Doyle. His villain is an ethnic type - so there is a little racism (though nothing like the racism met with in G.K.Chesterton or R.Austin Freeman). However the story is not totally like that in the film. The villain, Beppo, is not a criminal mastermind - not a Moriarty type. He has a clever idea, not one of many clever ideas. And he kills his victim when he is confronted by an enemy (something totally unplanned). There is no "creature of the night" figure of dread but just Beppo.

So the film version is (except for the pearl and the busts of Napoleon) a rewrite. Giles Connover and the Creeper (or, as Lestrade calls him, "the Oxton 'Orror") are movie innovations, and both are quite effective, thanks to Miles Manders acting and (unfortunately) Rondo Hatton's appearance. But they helped make the film better than average.

So does Rathbone. He does a disguise act at the start (as good as his song and dance act in "THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES"). He also has a go at imitating the voice of another actor in the film (and he does it nicely)and a disguise at the end. Nice balance there. Bruce adds some good comedy, especially when he thinks fast and shows he too can hide the pearl. Also note his scene where he tries to reassure a visitor that he is as good at deductions as Holmes was.

Altogether a different story from the Doyle original, but it is a good film on it's own merits.

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