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The Scarlet Claw (1944)

 -  Crime | Mystery | Thriller  -  26 May 1944 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,980 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 13 critic

When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster, but Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Gerald Hamer ...
Potts / Tanner / Ramson
Paul Cavanagh ...
Lord Penrose
Arthur Hohl ...
Emile Journet
...
Judge Brisson
Kay Harding ...
Marie Journet
David Clyde ...
Police Sergeant Thompson
...
Drake
Victoria Horne ...
Nora
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Storyline

While attending a conference in Quebec City, Sherlock Holmes and his good friend Dr. Watson are drawn into a murder investigation in the nearby village of La Mort Rouge. Holmes had received a letter from Lady Penrose asking for his assistance as she feared for her life. It was too late however as she had already been killed by the time he received it. Her throat was torn out and the local villagers are spreading rumors about monsters and evil spirits as being the cause. Holmes doesn't believe any of that and sets out to find the killer. He believes that Lady Penrose's past as an actress may have something to with her death. As others in the village are attacked, Holmes believes the killer is among them, impersonating a local villager as he goes about his business. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"THERE'S BLOOD ON THE MOON TONIGHT!" (re-release print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 May 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eighth of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. See more »

Goofs

Inexplicably, despite the French-Canadian setting, only the Journet's have French accents or (with the possible exception of Judge Brisson) names. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Sit down, old fellow. Judge Brisson has decided not to shoot us.
Dr. John H. Watson: Oh? Very kind of him!
See more »

Connections

Follows Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Highly entertaining...one of the strongest of the Universal series...
26 December 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I don't know how I missed this one over the years, but watching it today on TCM, I don't remember ever seeing it before.

THE SCARLET CLAW was written especially for the screen and not from any novel penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Turns out it's one of the very best entries in the series, up there with THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES and THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES as essential Holmes films.

It has all the atmosphere one would want in a Sherlock Holmes story and a mystery that deepens as the plot goes forward but resolved in a very satisfying way by Holmes. The cast includes an excellent performance from PAUL CAVANAGH as Mr. Penrose, whose wife dies a vicious death at the hands of a killer and leads to Holmes' investigation. GERALD HAMER as a nervous postman and VICTORIA HORNE as a frightened housekeeper are also fine, as is MILES MANDER as a judge whose life is in danger from a serial killer.

Although this one takes place in Canada, it might just as well have taken place on the Dartmouth moors in Devonshire--that's the kind of atmosphere it has with plenty of mist and fog to add to the Gothic ambiance of the tale.

Well worth watching for Sherlock fans. Especially good is NIGEL BRUCE as the bumbling Dr. Watson who inadvertently helps BASIL RATHBONE from time to time. His blustery interpretation of the comic sidekick is especially well done in this caper. Rathbone, of course, is beyond reproach.


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