IMDb > The Scarlet Claw (1944)
The Scarlet Claw
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The Scarlet Claw (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Edmund L. Hartmann (screenplay) and
Roy William Neill (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Scarlet Claw on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 May 1944 (USA) See more »
Holmes vs. Monster! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(6 articles)
User Reviews:
Perhaps the Best of Universal's Sherlock Holmes Films See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Gerald Hamer ... Potts / Tanner / Ramson
Paul Cavanagh ... Lord Penrose
Arthur Hohl ... Emile Journet
Miles Mander ... Judge Brisson
Kay Harding ... Marie Journet
David Clyde ... Police Sergeant Thompson

Ian Wolfe ... Drake
Victoria Horne ... Nora
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Allen ... Bill Taylor (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Lady Lillian Gentry Penrose (uncredited)
Frank Austin ... Villager in Pub with Dr. Watson (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Villager in Pub (uncredited)
Horace B. Carpenter ... Villager in Pub (uncredited)
Bill Cartledge ... Hotel Bellhop (uncredited)
William Desmond ... Member of Royal Canadian Occult Society (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Attendant (uncredited)
Clyde Fillmore ... Inspector (uncredited)
Charles Francis ... Sir John (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Hotel Day Desk Clerk (uncredited)
George Kirby ... Father Pierre (uncredited)
Charles Knight ... Assistant Police Inspector (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Member of Royal Canadian Occult Society (uncredited)
Norbert Muller ... Page-boy (uncredited)
Pietro Sosso ... Andy Trent (uncredited)
Tony Travers ... Musician (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Hotel Evening Desk Clerk (uncredited)
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Directed by
Roy William Neill 
Writing credits
Edmund L. Hartmann (screenplay) and
Roy William Neill (screenplay)

Paul Gangelin (story) and
Brenda Weisberg (story)

Arthur Conan Doyle (characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Produced by
Roy William Neill .... producer
Howard Benedict .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Paul Sawtell (uncredited)
Cinematography by
George Robinson (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Paul Landres 
Art Direction by
Ralph M. DeLacy 
John B. Goodman 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ira Webb  (as Ira S. Webb)
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Robert Pritchard .... sound technician
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special photography
Music Department
Paul Sawtell .... musical director
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Stacy Keach Sr. .... dialogue director (as Stacey Keach)
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Approved (certificate #9988)

Did You Know?

Listed in Journet's inn-register is Tom McKnight of New York. McKnight was an adviser on Universal's Holmes series.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Sherlock Holmes:Poor, innocent little child. I should have prevented this!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in La morte rouge (2006)See more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Perhaps the Best of Universal's Sherlock Holmes Films, 3 February 2008
Author: gftbiloxi ( from Biloxi, Mississippi

Universal's Sherlock Holmes series brought the characters into the 20th Century. Many of the were related to World War II, stories in which Holmes went in pursuit of spies and counterspies; others tried to mimic the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories with a presentation of mental puzzles. Although generally well executed, seldom did any of the titles rise above the level of "B Pictures"--but on the rare occasions that they did, they did so with a vengeance, and THE SCARLET CLAW is such a case. Directed at a fast clip by Roy William Neill, memorably photographed by George Robinson, and sporting an expert cast in a particularly clever script, this is easily among the best of the series.

The story hearkens back to such titles as THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. Lord Penrose (Paul Cavanaugh) is convinced that his small, Canadian town is beset by an evil spirit--and is indeed giving a lecture on psychic phenomena when his wife is found murdered, presumably by a apparition that haunted the town many years before. Convinced that it is the work of an otherwordly being, he does not welcome the arrival of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), who is convinced that there is nothing ghostly about the matter in the least.

The Universal films counted a great deal on the chemistry between Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and sidekick Dr. Watson, and indeed that chemistry is on full display in this particular title. But the overall cast is remarkably fine, not only the aforementioned Cavanaugh but most particularly Gerald Hammer, who frequently appeared in these films and here offers a uniquely memorable turn as the fearful postmaster. And, unlike most other films in the series, the solution to the crime is indeed a shocker.

The restoration is very handsome and the DVD comes with two nice bonuses, a short documentary on the challenges faced by those who restored the series (THE SCARLET CLAW receives particular mention) and an erudite audio commentary by film historian David Stuart Davies. If you've seen one or two films in the series and been unimpressed--give this one a try to see what Rathbone and company could do when when they had all the right makings. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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