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The Spider Woman (1944)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,431 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 15 critic

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of so-called "pajama suicides". He knows the female villain behind them is as cunning as Moriarty and as venomous as a spider.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nigel Bruce ...
...
Adrea Spedding
Dennis Hoey ...
Vernon Downing ...
Norman Locke
Alec Craig ...
Henchman Radlik
Arthur Hohl ...
Adam Gilflower
Mary Gordon ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sylvia Andrew ...
Charwoman (scenes deleted)
Marie De Becker ...
Charwoman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes takes on a case that the press has dubbed the pajama suicides. Eminent men are going to bed in the safety of their own homes, with everything seemingly being normal, only to commit suicide in the night. Holmes fakes his own death in the hopes of giving him a freer hand in the investigation and is convinced that a woman, a female Moriarty as he describes her, is behind the deaths. The dead men were all eminent and very wealthy. He impersonates a wealthy retired Indian military officer in the hope of drawing out the woman and he soon meets Adrea Spedding but she quickly sees through his disguise and proves herself to be the challenge Holmes predicted she would be. She is a worthy adversary and soon traps him setting him up in a carnival shooting gallery that seems to assure his death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here is crawling death sent to Sherlock Holmes by the most fiendish killer of all... See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point Holmes says to Watson, "If you ever see me getting too sure again, fancying myself more clever then Adrea Spedding, just whisper one word to me: pygmy." This line was inspired by the short story "The Adventure of the Yellow Face," in which Holmes tells Watson, "If it should ever strike you that I am getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper 'Norbury' in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you." See more »

Goofs

The pygmy skeleton Holmes and Watson finds in Matthew Ordway's closet is clearly a flat cardboard prop rather than a three-dimensional skeleton. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: [on the pyjama suicides] Directing them is one of the most fiendishly clever minds in all Europe today. I suspect a woman.
Dr. John H. Watson: You amaze me, Holmes. Why a woman?
Sherlock Holmes: Because the method, whatever it is, is particularly subtle and cruel. Feline, not canine.
Inspector Lestrade: Popycock. When a bloke does himself in, that's suicide.
Sherlock Holmes: Unless a bloke is driven to suicide; in that case it's murder.
Dr. John H. Watson: Driven? That *sounds* like a woman, doesn't it?
Sherlock Holmes: Definitley - a female Moriarty. Clever. Ruthless. And above all, cautious.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Pearl of Death (1944) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of Sherlock's best
8 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The fifth installment in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series and one of the best. "Spider Woman" finds Basil Rathbone matching wits with the enticing title character, superbly played by the beautiful Gale Sondergaard. Rathbone's Holmes is brilliant as always, but even Nigel Bruce's Dr. Watson is permitted to show some brains for once in this immensely entertaining mystery. A good show all around, although this series would really hit its peak with the next episode, "The Scarlet Claw."


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Not the movie I was looking for - where are the mechanical spiders? P_Bear
Pigmy-creature? yeoffthecat
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