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The Case of the Screaming Bishop (1944)

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Animated satire has parody versions of Holmes and Watson investigating the theft of a dinosaur skeleton.







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Uncredited cast:
John McLeish ...
Hairlock Combs (voice) (uncredited)


A dinosaur skeleton has been stolen from the museum. Since the other guy is apparently busy, the authorities go to 223 Baker Street and enlist the help of Hairlock Combs and his sidekick Gotsome. The thief keeps taunting them with notes that "the best bones go to Symphony Hall", but they start at the museum anyhow, disguising themselves as a pantomime horse. They build a mock skeleton out of scrap lumber, but discover it won't fit through the door or window. When Gotsome makes a musical noise sliding down the neck, they finally go to Symphony Hall, where the world's largest xylophone bears a strong resemblance to the skeleton. And just how *did* the skeleton get out? By answer, Combs pulls off a mask and reveals that he's the thief, not that it's a real answer. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Release Date:

4 August 1944 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although this is a Sherlock Holmes parody, the title is a parody of the Perry Mason title, "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop." See more »


William Tell Overture
Composed by Gioachino Rossini (1829)
Incorporated in soundtrack
See more »

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User Reviews

Columbia Spoofing on Holmes
1 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Case of the Screaming Bishop, The (1944)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

This Columbia animated short is a spoof of the Sherlock Holmes movies, which were being made over at rival studio Universal at the time. In this film, a dinosaur skeleton goes missing so Hairlock Combs and Dr. Gotsome set out to try and find it as well as the thief. At first the mystery seems to great but they finally get a major clue when it turns out the thief just happens to be a musician. THE CASE OF THE SCREAMING BISHOP isn't a complete success and I'm sure most will find it rather bland but fans of Holmes will probably want to check it out. I was a little surprised to see this was from Columbia because the relationship between Combs and Gotsome is clearly inspired by the banter of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. The two have a very similar relationship, although the Gotsome character is certainly a tad bit dumber than what we saw Dr. Watson do in the Universal movies. I was impressed with the B&W animation including the terrific looking opening scene when the villain is introduced and the darkness really reminded me of the various noir titles that were starting to be released around this time. The story itself is rather weak and doesn't add up to much in the end but fans of the character will want to check it out.

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