IMDb > Terror by Night (1946)
Terror by Night
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Terror by Night (1946) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 4)
Terror by Night -- When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner murdered, Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.
Terror by Night -- Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to prevent the theft of the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond. Believing the diamond will be stolen on a train trip from London to Edinburgh, Holmes deftly switches diamonds with Lady Margaret . Soon after, Roland is murdered and the fake diamond is stolen.


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Frank Gruber (screenplay)
Arthur Conan Doyle (adapted from a story by)
View company contact information for Terror by Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 February 1946 (USA) See more »
One Way Ticket to DEATH..! See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Vastly underrated entry in the classic Sherlock Holmes series See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes

Nigel Bruce ... Dr. John H. Watson

Alan Mowbray ... Maj. Duncan-Bleek
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Renee Godfrey ... Vivian Vedder
Frederick Worlock ... Prof. William Kilbane (as Frederic Worlock)
Mary Forbes ... Lady Margaret Carstairs
Skelton Knaggs ... Sands

Billy Bevan ... Train Attendant
Geoffrey Steele ... Roland Carstairs
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gilbert Allen ... Dining Car Steward (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Mock (uncredited)
Boyd Davis ... Inspector MacDonald (uncredited)
Gerald Hamer ... Alfred Shallcross (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Man on Train Platform (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Constable (uncredited)
Charles Knight ... Guard (uncredited)
Janet Murdoch ... Mrs. Shallcross (uncredited)
Tom Pilkington ... Baggage Car Attendant (uncredited)

C. Aubrey Smith ... Elderly gentleman on train station (uncredited)
Bobby Wissler ... Mock's Son (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill 
Writing credits
Frank Gruber (screenplay)

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
John B. Goodman 
Abraham Grossman 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Carl J. Lawrence  (as Carl Lawrence)
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
Sound Department
Jack A. Bolger Jr. .... technician
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Music Department
Milton Rosen .... musical director
Ralph Freed .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Richard Hageman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Leigh Harline .... composer: stock music (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:
"Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-7 (2013) | Finland:K-15 (2009) | Finland:K-18 (2009) (self applied) | Finland:S (1947) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1992) | USA:Approved (PCA #11349)

Did You Know?

Veteran actor C. Aubrey Smith appears in a non-speaking role as an elderly man smoking a pipe on a train platform about 49 minutes into the film.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Lestrade's passenger list gives the forename of Lady Carstairs' son as Roland; however some time later in the guard's van, Holmes refers to him as Ronald.See more »
[At Sherlock's suggestion, Watson interrogates a suspect on his own, but the suspect is suspicious of Watson's official standing and turns the inquiry around]
Prof. William Kilbane:Are you a policeman?
Dr. John H. Watson:No.
Prof. William Kilbane:Then, by what right, do you force your way into my compartment?
Dr. John H. Watson:Well, I...
Prof. William Kilbane:What are YOU doing on this train? Where are YOU going?
Dr. John H. Watson:I'm not going anywhere.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes (1985) (V)See more »


Midwest Premiere Happened When & Where?
See more »
35 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Vastly underrated entry in the classic Sherlock Holmes series, 10 October 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

You gotta love the classic Sherlock Holmes films - and I certainly do! To be honest, I wasn't expecting all that much out of Terror by Night - it's not often mentioned alongside the best of the series, and I'm not really sure what the reason for that is. Set aboard a speeding train, Terror by Night breathes a claustrophobic atmosphere throughout and does everything that you could possibly want one of these classic pictures to do. The last film in the Sherlock Holmes series, Dressed to Kill, was sub-par (but certainly not bad!) so it's good to see that the entries in the series leading up to that lapse didn't go the same way. The cast outdo themselves as usual, with Basil Rathbone providing the central role as only he can. Nigel Bruce joins him in support as the inept but lovable Dr Watson, and their chemistry is superb as usual. Perhaps not quite as great as some of the earlier films; but then again, they had done this twelve times already by this point. Finally, Dennis Hoey in the role of Scotland Yard inspector Lestrade makes up the cast. His presence really is underrated in the series, and he helps to give the film all-important extra comic dimension.

A few of the Holmes films made during World War Two annoyed me because of the rampant and often ham-fisted propaganda themes, so maybe one of the reason why this film appealed to me so much is that it stays away from any such themes. What we have instead is a streamlined and simple plot, which allows for more of what we tuned in for; namely, Holmes solving a mystery. The great detective has been hired to guard a lady carrying a rare diamond, The Star of Rhodesia, aboard a train bound for Edinburgh. I won't give anything else away, but I will say that while a few of the plot twists become apparent before they happen; most of them don't, and Terror by Night represents a solid hour of mystery. The classic style that makes the other films such a joy is here too; and because of the fact that this film (or any others in the series) never makes a direct bid for greatness, it is easy to enjoy and ignore any flaws that may ensue. This film isn't often mentioned when talking about the best Sherlock Holmes films - and it is topped by certain entries in the series. However, Terror by Night is a more than solid entry and you'll do well not to skip it!

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