Lamont Cranston (Rod La Rocque), amateur criminologist and detective, with a daily radio program, sponsored by the Daily Classic newspaper, has developed a friendly feud that sometimes ... See full summary »
Rod La Rocque,
Thomas E. Jackson
When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.
During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »
An artist's daughter becomes suspicious when new paintings by her supposedly dead father begin turning up in New York. When a gallery owner is murdered, the Falcon and Miss Wade head for ... See full summary »
Holmes and Watson on a transatlantic ocean liner escorting Nikolas, heir to a foreign throne. Also on board are a number of assassins, plotting against their sovereign. Written by
Herman Seifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film contains a couple of clever in-jokes for Holmes aficionados in the form of references to famous unrecorded cases for the Great Detective: at one point Watson begins to recite the tale of The Giant Rat of Sumatra (mentioned in Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire"); whilst the action takes place aboard the S.S. Friesland (from Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", and alluded to as "a Dutch-American liner" in his Professor Challenger book "The Lost World", though here it has links to Malmö in Sweden). See more »
Gubec, the deaf mute, shoves Holmes out of camera range and in five seconds has him not only bound securely with rope but gagged with a knotted handkerchief as well. See more »
The Sherlock Holmes Series is actually fun for the fans of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, but the individual films are a mixed bag as mysteries themselves. The best mysteries are THE SCARLET CLAW, THE HOUSE OF FEAR, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SHERLOCK HOLMES FACES DEATH. The ones about the war are mediocre - more like curiosities dealing with patriotism and the war effort. After the war the series resumed plots dealing with regular crime. The best of these was THE PEARL OF DEATH, but it was not up to the top five films. One of the final films was this one, PURSUIT TO ALGIERS.
Although all the other films were rewritten from the original Conan Doyle stories, PURSUIT TO ALGIERS was totally made up from a comment dropped in the original "Canon". Doyle wrote four novels and fifty six short stories about Holmes. But in this material (equal in size to say LES MISERABLES or DON QUIXOTE) were many little comments and statements that actually have helped lead to the myriad of essays and books by Holmes' fans. Among other things are the large number of cases of Holmes that he or Watson mention casually, but never write of. In this film, the untold story is "the affair of the steamship "Friesland" that so nearly cost us both our lives". It is mentioned in one of the stories of the series called THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, and is usually said to be set in 1895. The actions of PURSUIT TO ALGIERS take place on the steamship "Friesland", and do almost cost Holmes and Watson their lives, but this film is set after the end of World War II. Since there was no real short story that is nothing to be critical about.
Holmes is not in part of the film (and at one point it seems he has been killed), but he does appear about the middle, and he is in good form when he is. Witness the way he takes care of Martin Kosleck, and the way he makes a typically ironic comment to Kosleck as to why he was able to be prepared. Also the business about party favors is quite nicely done. So are the supporting parts - especially Bruce's comments regarding Rosalind Ivan and John Abbott and his partner. As an entertainment it is a fine film. As a mystery it really never gets very involving. We never understand who is in the background backing the anti-royal assassins. Presumably the Communists (this is 1945), but such a guess is based on the number of Eastern European monarchies that fell following the end of World War II. Still it would help to know who the super-villain is. But then Hitchcock always ignored the central rationales of his "MacGuffins". Why not on this lesser level then? So forget the pleasure of realism, sit back, and just enjoy the antics of the characters. And keep in mind, Basil and Nigel made only two other of these films afterward. It was nearly the end of the series for them and their fans.
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