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The House of Fear (1945)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,635 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 11 critic

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nigel Bruce ...
Aubrey Mather ...
Bruce Alastair
Dennis Hoey ...
Paul Cavanagh ...
Dr. Simon Merrivale
Holmes Herbert ...
Alan Cosgrave
Harry Cording ...
Captain John Simpson
Sally Shepherd ...
Mrs. Monteith
Gavin Muir ...
Chalmers
Florette Hillier ...
Alison MacGregor
David Clyde ...
Alex MacGregor
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Storyline

Seven rich men retire to a Scottish castle and promptly begin to die in violent fashion. Each death is preceded by the delivery of orange pips to the next target. As all the likely victims are heaviliy insured, Sherlock Holmes is asked by the insurance companies to investigate. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HORROR stalking its halls!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear  »

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

Towards the end of the film, as Holmes notices the tobacco urn is empty, the wolf's head cane from The Wolf Man (1941) can be seen leaning against the back wall. See more »

Goofs

Lestrade receives an envelope. Holmes asks to examine it. As Lestrade hands it over, the flap is loose. Holmes takes the envelope and breaks the seal with a finger. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Murder is an insidious thing. Once a man has dipped his fingers in blood, sooner or later he'll feel the urge to kill again.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Scarlet Claw (1944) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very good Sherlock story
8 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The House of Fear" is a highly enjoyable entry into the Sherlock Holmes series. It stars Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Paul Cavanagh and Dennis Hoey. Sherlock and Watson go to Scotland to investigate the murders of members of the "Good Comrades Club" - before they die, they receive an envelope containing orange pips (seeds); shortly afterward, they are brutally murdered beyond recognition.

There is a Sherlock Holmes story called "The Five Orange Pips," but this is only very loosely the Conan Doyle plot. Nevertheless, it has all the great mystery elements - a large, old dark house, rainstorms and things that go bump in the night.

One of the faults of this series was the casting of Nigel Bruce who was then directed to act like an idiot. Also, some of the scripts have Holmes being very condescending toward Watson or making fun of him. In "The House of Fear," neither of these things occur, at least as broadly. Holmes seems not only genuinely concerned about his friend but very fond of him as well.

Rathbone is one of the best actors to play Holmes and looks the part - for the most part, the whole series is enjoyable, and this one is a cut above average.


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