IMDb > The Spider Woman (1944)
The Spider Woman
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The Spider Woman (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   2,578 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Bertram Millhauser (screenplay)
Arthur Conan Doyle (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Spider Woman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 January 1944 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Grim mystery to hold you breathless! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
User Reviews:
Kiss of "The Spider Woman" See more (40 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson

Gale Sondergaard ... Adrea Spedding
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Vernon Downing ... Norman Locke
Alec Craig ... Henchman Radlik
Arthur Hohl ... Adam Gilflower
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sylvia Andrew ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
Marie De Becker ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
Jimmy Aubrey ... News Vendor (uncredited)
Frank Benson ... Toy Doll Attendant (uncredited)
Lydia Bilbrook ... Susan (uncredited)
John Burton ... Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Fred Garvin - Henchman on Roof (uncredited)
Teddy Infuhr ... Larry (uncredited)
George Kirby ... News Vendor (uncredited)
Stanley Logan ... Robert (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Belle Mitchell ... Fortune Teller (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Casinl Patron (uncredited)
John Roche ... Casino Croupier (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Obongo - Pygmy (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Henchman Taylor (uncredited)
Arthur Stenning ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Donald Stuart ... Artie - Shooting Gallery Attendant (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Casino Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
 
Writing credits
Bertram Millhauser (screenplay)

Arthur Conan Doyle (story) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Produced by
Roy William Neill .... producer
 
Original Music by
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Van Enger (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William Austin 
 
Art Direction by
John B. Goodman 
Martin Obzina 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman  (as R.A. Gausman)
Edward R. Robinson  (as Edward Ray Robinson)
 
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
 
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Paul Neal .... sound technician
 
Music Department
Hans J. Salter .... musical director (as H.J. Salter)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman" - USA (review title)
"Sherlock Holmes in the Spider Woman" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
Runtime:
63 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-7 (2013) | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved (certificate #9470)

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:
Factual errors: When the impostor posing as Matthew Ordway knocks a terrarium of black widow spiders onto the floor and Watson reaches for the gun among them, Holmes shouts "Stop it, Watson! Those insects are deadly!" Spiders are not insects, and Holmes, having just revealed Ordway to be an impostor on the basis of the man's lack of knowledge about spiders, should know this.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. John H. Watson:A word, what word?
Sherlock Holmes:Pygmy!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes (1985) (V)See more »

FAQ

Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Kiss of "The Spider Woman", 15 February 2006
Author: james_oblivion from Nowhere Interesting

One of the best in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series, The Spider Woman dispenses, for the most part, with the overt WWII subject matter (which was also reasonably sparse in the previous outing, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death). The climax does make use of the image of Hitler and other Axis figures, but this was (aside from a brief mention in Dressed to Kill) the final direct war reference in the series. This bears mentioning because the film benefits strongly from the general lack of wartime subterfuge. Rather than battling Nazi agents, Rathbone's Sherlock is embroiled in a truly Holmesian mystery, surrounding several apparent suicides...which Holmes, naturally (and correctly), deduces to be homicides.

Though the opening credits proclaim "Based on a Story by Arthur Conan Doyle," The Spider Woman adapts (quite freely) major incidents from no less than five of Conan Doyle's tales...The Sign of Four, The Speckled Band, The Final Problem, The Empty House (also referenced in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon), and The Devil's Foot. False advertising, maybe...but the script (courtesy of Bertram Millhauser) manages to weave them all into a framework that makes for a fun and intriguing mystery.

Other assets include the performances, which are better than in some of the earlier films (though Rathbone and Bruce never disappointed), and the more sure-handed guidance of regular directer Roy William Neill...by this time, a vast improvement over the direction in his first Holmes outing, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon. It's also appropriate (if somewhat superficial) to note that Holmes's hairstyle, which changed for the better in Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, thankfully does not revert in this one (nor at any time for the duration of the series) to the shambles that it was in the first three films.

All in all, one of the best made, and most entertaining, films in the Universal series. It doesn't quite rise to the heights of The Scarlet Claw, but it's easily one of the best.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Not the movie I was looking for - where are the mechanical spiders? P_Bear
Pigmy-creature? yeoffthecat
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