22 user 8 critic

The Speckled Band (1931)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 August 1931 (Ireland)
After her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, a young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather.


Jack Raymond


Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), W.P. Lipscomb (adaptation)




Cast overview:
Lyn Harding ... Dr. Grimesby Rylott
Raymond Massey ... Sherlock Holmes
Angela Baddeley ... Helen Stonor
Nancy Price ... Mrs. Staunton
Athole Stewart Athole Stewart ... Dr. John Watson


Violet Stoner dies under mysterious circumstances in her bedroom at the gloomy mansion of her brutish stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Rylott. Because Violet had become engaged to be married, she stood to inherit a substantial annual allowance from her parents' estate but never survived to collect it. Her last words were "The Speckled Band!" Now, her sister Helen has become engaged, and the mercenary doctor views the event as money out of his pocket as she stands to get a yearly stipend too. When he orders her to start sleeping in her sister's bedroom, and she finds the bed bolted to the floor, she fears that a fate similar to Violet's will befall her. She turns to the residents of 221B Baker Street for help. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Most Sensational British Picture Made! (Print Ad- Vancouver Sun, ((Vancouver, BC)) 25 July 1931) See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


An interesting set up for this Sherlock Holmes tale. He works out from an office: he is in the inner office and his two secretaries in the outer office. This is equipped with "modern-for-that-time" equipment that supposedly has all the information available on all criminals. It seems that this is stored on cards - one can see a card sorter working and (perhaps) printing out to paper. One secretary, typing very rapidly, listens to a non-electrical recording on a cylinder through earphones a little like a stethoscope - the other secretary is upset as Sherlock Holmes knows even more about the criminal world and keeps modifying the system. Later he uses an unseen communications system to call a secretary from his (inner) office. See more »


The deadly 'swamp viper' used by Dr. Rylott to murder his stepdaughter is obviously a non-venomous python. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: From your clothes I would deduce - you're going to a wedding.
Dr. John Watson: [laughs heartily] At last I've got you. For once in your life you're wromg.
Sherlock Holmes: Wrong?
Dr. John Watson: I'm not going to a wedding! I'm coming from one!
Dr. John Watson: [Watson again enjoys a hearty laugh]
Sherlock Holmes: [sardonically] Give them my congratulations or perhaps condolences.
Dr. John Watson: Rubbish! We all come to it, my dear fellow.
Dr. John Watson: [he laughs again] We all come to it. Goodbye.
Sherlock Holmes: [alone, ironically and sadly, after Watson has left] Not all, my dear Watson... not all.
See more »


Version of Sherlock Holmes: Das gefleckte Band (1967) See more »

User Reviews

Nothing but speckled bands, lines, blips, slips, bumps and jumps
14 August 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

The IMDb has it at 90 minutes long, 66 in the US the same as it states on the back of the budget DVD box I've just watched, but timed at a mere 50. For this has been slashed to ribbons over the years, Persistance Of Vision is sorely tried as well as guessing what scenes were deleted between frame slippages and leaps. Puzzling gaps in the plot are easy in comparison!

There are many bits to enjoy however through gritted teeth - Massey did all right as Holmes, although Athole Stewart as a bald headed and vibrant Watson took me some getting used to. Lyn Harding as Dr. Rylott was splendidly OTT - almost made me wish for Tod Slaughter to make an appearance! Favourite bits: Holmes' bustling outer office at Baker Street, an intriguing development but one I'm glad to report unique; the romantic clinches in the garden between Helen and her boyfriend (straight from getting shot in Elstree Calling) who's not heard of again; Holmes solving the mystery in her darkened bedroom. Where it allows, a beautiful misty gleaming nitrate atmosphere pervades.

I hope there's a decent print out there somewhere, because ultra-creaky as it is this film probably deserves a little more attention than I fear this copy will ever get!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

7 August 1931 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tira Salpicada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed