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The House of Fear (1945)

7.6
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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:
...
...
Aubrey Mather ...
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

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Release Date:

16 March 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tenth of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. 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

Dr. John H. Watson: I'm sorry I'm late. I didn't sleep very well.
Sherlock Holmes: Didn't sleep very well? You snored like a pig!
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Woman in Green (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Murder is an insidious thing Watson.
1 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes agrees to an insurance company request to investigate the gruesome deaths of wealthy gentlemen living in a Scottish mansion. Each death is predicted by the strange delivery of Orange Pips to the next intended victim.

Lets get the main fact out of the way first, although an adaptation of Conan Doyle's Holmes story, {Adventures} The Five Orange Pips, The House Of Fear bears little resemblance to that particular source. So purist fans of the literary aspects are in for a let down. Or are they? Directed by Roy William Neill with the screenplay coming from Roy Chanslor, this tenth entry in the Rathbone/Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films is a deliciously atmospheric mystery piece holding its own. Set very much in the creepy mansion formula, House Of Fear, with all its off kilter camera work {beautifully realised now with the marvellous restoration job}, utilises the scope for "nothing is ever what it seems" to great effect. Thus of course giving Holmes {Rathbone impeccable as usual} license to detect with great gusto and ingenuity. This is after all what one wants from a Sherlock Holmes film me thinks? The film is also aided by some rather fine work from the sound department, winds and footsteps are sharp to the ears, again impacting on the mood to fully involve the viewer.

While the relatively short running time stops it from being a fully born out mystery, and yes if you dig deep enough you will find a couple of creaky plot holes. The House Of Fear is still one of the better entries in this marvellous series of films. Sometimes it's all about the characters and the situation they find themselves in. With that, this becomes an essential Holmes movie, regardless of grumbles from purists and plot holers alike. 7/10


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