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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 first time Sherlock Holmes refers to the deadly spider that caused all of the suicides and nearly killed him, he calls it an "insect". Spider are "arachnids", which have 8-legs and 2 body segments, unlike "insects" which are 6-legged and have 3 body segments. Holmes is unlikely to make such a mistake. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: I'm sorry, Watson. The pleasures of the chase are no longer for me. I'm through with crime forever.
See more »

Connections

Follows Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the Most Entertaining Movies in the Rathbone/Bruce Series
14 October 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

With an involved, detailed mystery and an elegant adversary played by Gale Sondergaard, this is one of the most entertaining features in the Sherlock Holmes series of movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. The story gets a little far-fetched, but it is quite interesting. It is loaded with plot devices pulled from several different Arthur Conan Doyle stories, and it's interesting to see how many you can catch. It also features the usual pleasant camaraderie between Rathbone and Bruce, plus Dennis Hoey as Inspector Lestrade.

As "The Spider Woman", Sondergaard creates a memorable opponent for Holmes. The slightly exaggerated role cannot have been much of a challenge for such a fine actress, but she puts her heart into it, and looks as if she is enjoying herself - as her character certainly is. By creating such a dynamic character, she also helps make the complicated story seem more plausible, and it creates a worthy challenge for Holmes.

The movie also contains the amusing bits of dialogue and detail that characterized so many of the movies in the series. The climactic sequence, in particular, is a very good combination of suspense and wit. It is a fitting way to cap off an enjoyable entry in the popular series.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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