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Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death (1984)

The Masks of Death (original title)
Sherlock Holmes has retired. But when MacDonald asks him to take on another case, he says yes. There have been some mysterious murders, and there are no visible causes for the deaths. At ... See full summary »

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(story) (as John Elder), (characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Home Secretary
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Graf Udo Von Felseck
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Alec MacDonald
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Miss Derwent
Marcus Gilbert ...
Anton Von Felseck
Jenny Laird ...
Russell Hunter ...
Alfred Coombs
James Cossins ...
Frederick Baines
Eric Dodson ...
Lord Claremont
Georgina Coombs ...
Lady Claremont
James Head ...
Chauffeur
Dominic Murphy ...
Boot Boy
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes has retired. But when MacDonald asks him to take on another case, he says yes. There have been some mysterious murders, and there are no visible causes for the deaths. At the same time Holmes gets this case, Graf Udo Von Felseck gives him another case: find a young and missing prince to prevent war between Germany and England. But Von Felseck is not as honest as he seems... Written by <ivara@stud.idb.hist.no>

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Release Date:

23 December 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death  »

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(Fujicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final screen performance of Anne Baxter. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John H. Watson: No sane man wants war.
Sherlock Holmes: That is the trouble, Watson. There are otherwise sane men who do want war.
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User Reviews

 
Almost The Crime Of The Last Century
19 March 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A request by Scotland Yard inspector Gordon Jackson for help from the now retired Sherlock Holmes about some very mysterious deaths of men being found in the Thames River brings the famous detective back to Baker Street. The celebrated detective and his companion Dr. John Watson now spend a lot of their time in the countryside just gathering their notes together for the ultimate Holmes memoir.

The Masks Of Death brings Peter Cushing to his second portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous sleuth. He had previously played him in the Hammer Film production of The Hound Of The Baskervilles. In this film John Mills is Doctor Watson who also narrates.

The Masks Of Death is not based on any Conan Doyle story and the reason is pretty clear. After Holmes and Watson go to work on this case, the Home Secretary played by Ray Milland asks for Holmes's help in a case of national importance. Accompanying Milland is German gentleman Anton Diffring. They allege that a prince of the royal Hohenzollern blood has been kidnapped while traveling incognito in Great Britain. We've got to find him before anything else period. Milland plays a member of the cabinet who wants to stop an impending German/British war at all costs.

In fact in the cabinet of Herbert Asquith back in the day, the Minister for War, Lord Haldane was a man doing just that and his pro-German views were the basis for his dismissal. I doubt Arthur Conan Doyle would have been libeling Lord Haldane back in those days. And it would have been libel for what eventually Holmes uncovers.

Baker Street purists will scoff at this one. It wasn't however a bad film for Peter Cushing. Anne Baxter is on hand as well in one of her last roles as a mysterious German/American woman who Holmes can't quite trust. He suspects, heaven forfend, she's a suffragist.

What the two cases have in common might surprise the viewer. If carried out it would have been the crime of the last century.


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