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The House of Fear
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The House of Fear (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Roy Chanslor (screenplay)
Arthur Conan Doyle (story)
View company contact information for The House of Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 March 1945 (USA) See more »
HORROR stalking its halls!
Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Not Holmes' finest hour, but certainly not a bad one either See more (50 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Doctor John H. Watson
Aubrey Mather ... Bruce Alastair
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade

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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Richard Alexander ... Ralph King (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Guy Davies (uncredited)
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Angus (uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti ... Stanley Raeburn (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Sergeant Bleeker (uncredited)
Bobbie Hale ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Bessie (uncredited)
David Thursby ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
Writing credits
Roy Chanslor (screenplay)

Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Produced by
Roy William Neill .... producer
Original Music by
Paul Sawtell (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Virgil Miller (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Saul A. Goodkind  (as Saul Goodkind)
Art Direction by
John B. Goodman 
Eugène Lourié  (as Eugene Lourie)
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Edward R. Robinson  (as E.R. Robinson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Melville Shyer .... assistant director
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
William Hedgcock .... sound technician
Music Department
Paul Sawtell .... musical director
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Raymond Kessler .... dialogue director (as Ray Kessler)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
69 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:K-12 (1948) | USA:Approved (PCA #10243)

Did You Know?

Released on a double bill with The Mummy's Curse (1944).See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes (1985) (V)See more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Not Holmes' finest hour, but certainly not a bad one either, 8 June 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

While it's not as great as earlier Holmes mysteries, such as The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Scarlet Claw; The House of Fear is still an admirable entry in Holmes' list of triumphs. My favourite detective mysteries are always the ones that include a dash of horror, and I'm pleased to remark that this one has that. The film is directed by Roy William Neill; the same man that directed fellow horror-orientated Holmes yarn, The Scarlet Claw. For this film, Neill has succeeded in capturing a foreboding and intriguing atmosphere once again, and the story, which includes a rickety old house, benefits immensely from that. The story follows a group of men that have moved to Scotland from London after forming a club and buying a large house. After two of them are murdered subsequent to receiving strange notes, the super-sleuth and his trusty sidekick; Dr Watson are called in to get to the bottom of the mystery. Could the fact that each member of the group is a beneficiary of each of the others' life insurance policies have anything to do with it?

This film is very short at just 69 minutes, and this is part of the reason why the film doesn't work quite as well as other Holmes yarns. Despite being short, the film doesn't have many moments of real tension and there are several instances where the story slows down to walking pace, and these can be a trifle dull. The story in this movie is rather thin, but, despite it's lack of tension, it does have intrigue; which redeems the plotting somewhat. One thing that the film definitely does benefit from is that, like all other Universal Holmes films made in the 30's and 40's, it stars the great Basil Rathbone as the great detective and Nigel Bruce as the sidekick; Dr Watson. These two have a great on-screen chemistry, and you can really believe that they are old friends. The climax of the film is nice and it's unlikely that you'll see it coming...but that's its main vice also; it's somewhat unlikely. I'm becoming a big fan of Sherlock Holmes movies, so I'm rating this one a little higher than many would; but in spite of my slight bias, this is still a very good film and one that Holmes fans will not want to miss

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Solution to Mystery Forshadowed in Opening Scene mchlwilson-28348
orange pips judy_moon_54
Possible Wolfman Refrence? JoeyBombstyle
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