5.5/10
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10 user 6 critic

Sherlock Holmes (1932)

The famous detective is pulled away from retirement and his fiancée when the condemned Moriarty escapes from prison and swears vengeance.

Director:

William K. Howard
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clive Brook ... Sherlock Holmes
Miriam Jordan ... Alice Faulkner
Ernest Torrence ... Professor James Moriarty
Herbert Mundin ... George
Reginald Owen ... Dr. Watson
Howard Leeds Howard Leeds ... Little Billy
Alan Mowbray ... Colonel Gore-King
C. Montague Shaw ... Judge
Frank Atkinson Frank Atkinson ... Man in Pub
Ivan F. Simpson ... Faulkner
Stanley Fields ... Tony Ardetti
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Storyline

Moriarty is sentenced to death, and Sherlock Holmes prepares to retire to the country and marry his girl (sic). But Moriarty has sworn that Holmes, Lt-Col Gore-King of Scotland Yard, and his trial judge shall all be hanged too. When Moriarty escapes and proceeds to put his threat into operation, Holmes has to postpone his retirement. Written by Kieron O'Hara <koh@psyc.nott.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mesterdetektív See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The audio disks from this movie are not known to survive, but since the film was recorded on Movietone, sound on film, this is not a problem. See more »

Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deadly vengeance

Am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and get a lot of enjoyment out of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Also love Basil Rathbone's and especially Jeremy Brett's interpretations to death. So would naturally see any Sherlock Holmes adaptation that comes my way, regardless of its reception.

Furthermore, interest in seeing early films based on Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and wanting to see as many adaptations of any Sherlock Holmes stories as possible sparked my interest in seeing 'Sherlock Holmes', especially one with such a great idea. Anything with one of literature's most iconic arch-enemies Moriaty is always worth the watch.

'Sherlock Holmes' is very problematic and not one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations certainly, the best of the Jeremy Brett adaptations and films of Basil Rathone fit under this category. It's also not among the very worst, although one of the lesser ones overall, being better than any of the Matt Frewer films (particularly 'The Sign of Four') and much better than the abominable Peter Cook 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.

Ernest Torrence is the best thing about 'Sherlock Holmes', being an effectively sinister Moriaty. Clive Brook is also pretty good and enigmatic as Holmes.

There is a suitably spooky and creepy atmosphere in the film, and some scenes come off effectively. Especially the trial and the escape. There are some nice starkly beautifully and eerie shots and the direction has some inspired visual and atmosphere touches.

However, the rest of the cast are not great, though Alan Mowbray is okay if not electric. Not just Miriam Jordan's dull Alice and Howard Leeds' grating Billy (who has too much screen time), but Reginald Owen is even stiffer as Watson than he was when he portrayed Holmes in 'A Study in Scarlet', Watson is very underused here which robs us of one of the most legendary partnerships to fully make impression and Owen does very little with what he has.

Other than the visual and atmosphere touches, the direction struggles in some of the direction of the actors and giving the mystery consistent momentum. The script is talky and rambling, with some over-played and extraneous comedy that was merely padding. The pace tends to be on the dull side and the tension and suspense too often is lacking in the story, the mystery not fully coming to life and occasionally could have been clearer. Only Moriaty and Holmes are interesting of the characters.

To conclude, alright but a long way from exceptional. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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