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.
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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 <email@example.com>
One of the many Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce appearing as Holmes and Watson, "Terror By Night" is distinguished by a good, atmospheric setting on a train. Much of the plot itself is fairly routine, but the setting and a good climax make this a worthwhile film.
The action takes place on a train heading from London to Edinburgh, with Holmes being employed to protect a valuable diamond. Not only is there a robbery, but a murder as well, and Holmes must investigate within the confines of the train. Much of it is routine by the standards of the series, but there are a couple highlights, plus a good climax with some interesting final twists.
The train setting is the best aspect of this one. The details of the train's motion and arrangement are done convincingly. They make the film pleasant to watch, and a train is an ideal setting for a Holmes mystery. The setting also allows Bruce, as the well-meaning but bumbling Dr. Watson, to have some of his best moments as he earnestly but unsuccessfully tries to help with the investigation.
While unspectacular, most fans of the Holmes series should find "Terror By Night" pleasant and entertaining.
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