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The House of Fear (1945)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 16 March 1945 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (story "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Aubrey Mather ...
Dennis Hoey ...
...
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 »

Parents Guide:

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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

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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

Released on a double bill with The Mummy's Curse (1944). 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: This is a most unique case. Instead of too few we have too many clues and too many suspects. The main pattern of the puzzle seems to be forming, but the pieces don't fit in.
Dr. John H. Watson: Muddy waters, eh, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: Too muddy. As if someone were constantly stirring them up.
Dr. John H. Watson: Why should they stir them up?
Sherlock Holmes: To confuse me. There's intelligence behind this business, Watson. Cold, calculating, ruthless intelligence.
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Connections

Follows Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Atmospheric, Interesting Holmes Mystery
21 October 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

With lots of atmospheric detail and an interesting, involved Sherlock Holmes mystery story, this is one of many enjoyable features in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series. The plot is, to be honest, pretty far-fetched, but it makes for a very entertaining story with lots of intriguing developments. The supporting cast features Dennis Hoey as Inspector Lestrade, Aubrey Mather as an interesting oddball character, and Paul Cavanagh in a good role as one of the suspects.

The story takes some of the basic elements from Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Five Orange Pips", but places it in an entirely new setting that works much better on the screen. It also adds many other ideas, some from Doyle, and some from other sources. The good cast and the effective atmosphere in a remote corner of Scotland help to keep the story interesting instead of straining plausibility.

Roy William Neill does one of his many solid directing jobs in the series, keeping a good balance between entertainment and mystery, and between the original characters and the contemporary setting. It might not be the most tightly-crafted of the series, but it's certainly one of the more enjoyable ones to watch.


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