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The Scarlet Claw (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 26 May 1944 (USA)
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
...
Lord Penrose
Arthur Hohl ...
Emile Journet
...
Judge Brisson
Kay Harding ...
Marie Journet
David Clyde ...
Sergeant Thompson
...
Drake
...
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

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NEW Thrills! NEW Terror! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 May 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw  »

Company Credits

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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

Listed in Journet's inn-register is Tom McKnight of New York. McKnight was an adviser on Universal's Holmes series. See more »

Goofs

When Holmes and Watson rush to Judge Brisson's house when they learn of his murder, they enter the foyer leaving the front door wide open. Holmes goes to close the door in the next slide and the door is barely cracked open. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Potts, Tanner, Ramson: Who could be ringing the church bell at this time? Maybe it ain't a who Father, maybe it's an it. And maybe it's tolling the bell.
Father Pierre: Aw, there's no such things as ghosts and monsters. Haven't I made that clear to you?
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Connections

Followed by Dressed to Kill (1946) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sherlock in the Swamps!
13 December 2005 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

One of the absolute finest entries in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series, along with "The Pearl of Death" which came out immediately after this movie. These two are the best Holmes-films because they're atmospheric and unsettling horror stories rather than simple detective films revolving on an all-knowing hero. The story is worth digging into and the scenery & set pieces are terrific, with fog-machines seemly on every street corner and a mysterious villain hiding out in the marshes of a small Canadian town with a dubious name; La Mort Rouge. Holmes and his loyal assistant Watson (who seems to get dumber every film) are in Canada for a congress about the supernatural and decide to stay when they're facing seemly authentic supernatural murder case! A woman's throat has been brutally torn out and the villagers of La Mort Rouge fear there's a 100-year-old ghost at large. Skeptical Holmes, however, doesn't really believe this and looks for a suspect who's more human. I really appreciated how the screenplay doesn't idolize Sherlock Holmes too much! For example, despite his amazing deduction-talents, Holmes still can't prevent some extra murders from happening and not once but twice he arrives to late in order to stop the murderer. It might be a detail, but for me this makes the character a lot more convincing and realistic. The obligatory WWII references are more camouflaged than usual and Roy William Neill's direction is as solid and professional as ever. "The Scarlet Claw" is a highly enjoyable mystery/horror classic with some fascinating story-twists and engaging performances. Recommended!


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