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.
Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.
Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to prevent the theft of the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond owned by Carstairs' mother, Lady Margaret. Believing the diamond will be stolen on a train trip from London to Edinburgh, Holmes deftly switches diamonds with Lady Margaret while in her compartment. Soon after, Roland is murdered and the fake diamond is stolen. Red herrings abound as Holmes, aided by Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade, discover the murderer's hiding place and deduce that long-time foe Moriarty's henchman Colonel Sebastian Moran is somehow involved in the crime. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the Conan Doyle story "The Empty House", Col. Sebastian Moran kills a young man named Ronald. In this film, "Terror by Night", the young man's name has been changed to Roland. In one scene, Basil Rathbone inadvertently refers to Roland as "Ronald". See more »
Strangers, Suspects and Super-detectives on a train!
Rather short (60min.) and fast-paced last but one Sherlock Holmes adventure, entirely set on an express train and once again revolving on the theft of a very valuable diamond. Holmes and Dr. Watson are hired to keep an eye on the "Star of Rhodesia"; a most precious jewel that travels from London to Edinburgh, along with its owner, Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard and a whole carriage of oddly behaving suspects. When the person who hired Sherlock Holmes is found murdered in his compartment, our master-detective has to come up with some of his most amazing deduction skills to catch the culprit. Although still highly enjoyable and compelling, this installment shows that the overall brilliant series is slightly "running out of steam" (pun intended!). Holmes' inimitable investigation techniques are becoming less and less perplexing and the plot-twists occasionally are repetitive, or at least give the impression to be. Even poor Dr. Watson is turning more and more into a caricature of himself, here pretending to be a police officer in order to prove that he can handle the work of Scotland Yard. On the other hand however, thanks to a couple of effective and innovating elements, avid fans of the Sherlock Holmes cycle could righteously claim that "Terror by Night" is a very underrated and actually one of the best film in the series! The train setting creates a claustrophobic atmosphere and writer Frank Gruber put a lot of effort in the characterizations of the supportive cast, making all of them look suspicious. Fans of classic cinema, horror and film-noir should all get aboard!
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?