IMDb > Dressed to Kill (1946)
Dressed to Kill
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Dressed to Kill (1946) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 5)
Dressed to Kill -- A set of cheap music boxes that people are willing to kill for puts Sherlock Holmes on the case.
Dressed to Kill -- A transsexual murders one of his psychiatrist's patients, and now he's after the prostitute who witnessed it.
Dressed to Kill -- A trio of music boxes contains the hidden secret to riches, and a group of criminals will kill for them.


User Rating:
7.0/10   3,730 votes »
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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Leonard Lee (screenplay)
Frank Gruber (adaptation)
View company contact information for Dressed to Kill on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 June 1946 (USA) See more »
Queen . . . of a Crime Cult !
Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Solid Entry in the Rathbone/Bruce Series See more (58 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Dr. John H. Watson

Patricia Morison ... Mrs. Hilda Courtney
Edmund Breon ... Julian 'Stinky' Emery (as Edmond Breon)
Frederick Worlock ... Colonel Cavanaugh (as Frederic Worlock)
Carl Harbord ... Inspector Hopkins
Patricia Cameron ... Evelyn Clifford
Holmes Herbert ... Ebenezer Crabtree
Harry Cording ... Hamid
Leyland Hodgson ... Tour Guide
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson

Ian Wolfe ... Commissioner of Scotland Yard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Allen ... Scottish Man at Auction (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Photographer (uncredited)
Guy Bellis ... Doctor (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Minister on Museum Tour (uncredited)
Marjorie Bennett ... Antique Shop Assistant (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Lillian Bronson ... Minister's Wife (uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti ... Convict at Dartmoor Prison (uncredited)
Tom Dillon ... Detective Sergeant Thompson (uncredited)
Topsy Glyn ... The Kilgour Child (uncredited)
Bobbie Hale ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Alfred - Auction House Bookkeeper (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... Detective with X-ray Photos (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Guy Kingsford ... Scotland Yard Undercover Convict in Dartmoor Prison (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Mathew McCue ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Pub Patron (uncredited)
Hans Moebus ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Detective at Murder Scene (uncredited)
Alexander Pollard ... Crabtree's Assistant at Auction (uncredited)
Wallace Scott ... Joe Cisto (uncredited)
Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Teacher on Museum Tour (uncredited)
Sally Shepherd ... Tobacconist (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Woman at Auction (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
Writing credits
Leonard Lee (screenplay)

Frank Gruber (adaptation)

Arthur Conan Doyle (adapted from a story by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Produced by
Howard Benedict .... executive producer
Roy William Neill .... producer
Cinematography by
Maury Gertsman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Saul A. Goodkind 
Art Direction by
Martin Obzina 
Jack Otterson 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Edward R. Robinson 
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
Makeup Department
Carmen Dirigo .... hair stylist
Jack P. Pierce .... director of makeup
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Melville Shyer .... assistant director
Judson Cox .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Glenn E. Anderson .... technician
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Ronald Pierce .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Russell Lawson .... matte artist (uncredited)
Robert Tafur .... stunt double (uncredited)
Robert Tufer .... stunt double: Basil Rathbone (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
John J. Martin .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Milton Rosen .... musical director
Richard Hageman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Delos Jewkes .... singing voice: "Ya Never Know Just 'Oo You're Gonna Meet" (uncredited)
William Lava .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Paul Sawtell .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Raymond Kessler .... dialogue director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Hypercube  digital restoration (National Film Museum print)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Prelude to Murder" - USA (working title), USA (DVD title)
"Sherlock Holmes: Dressed to Kill" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
72 min (video version) | 76 min (copyright length)
Color (Black & White and Color) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:K-18 (2009) (self applied) | Finland:K-15 (2007) (2009) | Finland:K-16 (1947) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1992) | USA:Approved (PCA #11512, General Audience)

Did You Know?

During the UCLA Sherlock Holmes Restoration Project (1993-2003) they were unable to find any 35mm elements of the main title for this film. The restored version uses a blow-up from a used 16mm television syndication print which was dissolved into the proper point. The main title of the restored version shows a decrease in resolution, increased grain and a reduction in image registration.See more »
Continuity: In the close-up of the woman's hand holding Sherlock Holmes's calling card, the fingers have red nail polish. In the very next shot, the woman does not have nail polish.See more »
Commissioner of Scotland Yard:Before going further, Dr. Watson, I must inform you that this matter is not to be mentioned outside this room.
Watson:[Indignantly] Of course not! Do I look like a man of gossip?
Holmes:Let's not go into that now, old fellow, shall we?
See more »
The SwagmanSee more »


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22 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Solid Entry in the Rathbone/Bruce Series, 21 June 2005
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

This is a solid Sherlock Holmes mystery in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series, with an interesting story, a good villainess, and a good pace once it gets going. Although, as with many movies in the series, the plot is not found in any of the original Holmes books, a number of the story elements were drawn or adapted from various Doyle stories. A number of times Watson also makes reference to one of the 'canonical' cases.

The setup is good, and it produces some interesting possibilities. Holmes must not only figure out a peculiar puzzle involving music boxes, but must do so in a race with a criminal gang that is trying to accomplish the same thing. Patricia Morison makes an elegant adversary for Holmes, and Rathbone and Bruce work well together as always.

Although these later movies in the series do not hold closely to the Victorian atmosphere of the originals, most of them are pretty good in their own right, and while this one mostly follows the usual formula, it is an enjoyable entry in the series.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Dressed to Kill (1946)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Patricia Morison habler6
Why only four colorized? houchin-1
A touch of humour. arboni23
Were they aware this would be last? ctatlock
Samuel johnson link? habler6
Anachronisms? ileanadu
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