5.3/10
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20 user 6 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.

Director:

Jack Raymond

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Cringing in fear before some sinister and horrifying power of man or nature...a hell that would rob her of love and beauty! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1931 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tira Salpicada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderfully Atmospheric
4 June 2004 | by PangborneSee all my reviews

This is exactly the kind of thing I look for in an old Sherlock Holmes movie; atmospheric, almost Victorian, with old clichés played straight.

The villain almost twirls his mustache. The whole thing creates perfectly creepy suspense with beautiful camera work and expressionistic sets that still have that silent movie movie, though four or so years into the sound era. Montage sequences pop up frequently, and the actors are often caught in a profile. Shots are often in deep focus, with shafts of light illuminating a distant figure in white - most often the heroine, terribly vulnerable in the cavernous spaces of the derelict old mansion. Simple suspense techniques remain effective, and the movie conjures a far more convincing world of fairy-tale menace than the Sherlock Holmes movies of just a few years later, when the light gets flat, the sets get thin, and the puzzle aspect of the crime overwhelms the horror and suspense. To my way of thinking, Sherlock Holmes movies should have a Grand Guignol element that borders on the supernatural; the more they become just puzzling crimes, the less interesting they are.


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