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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 1 September 1939 (USA)
The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

Edwin Blum (screenplay), William Absalom Drake (screenplay) (as William Drake) | 1 more credit »
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Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Dr. Watson
Ida Lupino ... Ann Brandon
Alan Marshal ... Jerrold Hunter
Terry Kilburn ... Billy
George Zucco ... Professor Moriarty
Henry Stephenson ... Sir Ronald Ramsgate
E.E. Clive ... Inspector Bristol
Arthur Hohl ... Bassick
May Beatty May Beatty ... Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes Peter Willes ... Lloyd Brandon
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Holmes Herbert ... Justice
George Regas ... Mateo
Mary Forbes ... Lady Conyngham
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Storyline

Professor Moriarity has a scheme for stealing the crown jewels from the Tower of London. To get Holmes involved, he persuades a gaucho flute player to murder a girl. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Struggle of Super-Minds in the Crime of the Century!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The working title of this film was "Sherlock Holmes". See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Holmes closes the door in a closeup shot smoking his pipe. As the camera cuts to a wide shot the pipe is gone. See more »

Quotes

Dawes: You wanted to see me, sir?
Professor Moriarty: I'm away for a few weeks, Dawes, and I come back to find my anthurium magenta, my incomparable anthurium magenta, withered, ruined...
Dawes: I can't understand it, sir; I took good care of all the plants.
Professor Moriarty: Did you water them?
Dawes: Every day, sir - just as you told me, sir.
Professor Moriarty: Then how does it happen that I find a spider's web spun across the spout of the watering can?
Dawes: That can happen overnight, sir.
Professor Moriarty: Overnight, huh? Then you didn't water them today?
Dawes: There's been so much to do, sir, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: In all my life I have encountered only one man whom I can truthfully call the very Genius of Evil -- Professor Moriarty. For eleven years he has eluded me. All the rest who opposed him are dead. He is the most dangerous criminal England has ever known. Sherlock Holmes. 9 May 1894. See more »

Alternate Versions

When this movie aired on WPBS, the song that Basil Rathbone sings was changed from "By the Sea" to "I've got a Loverly Bunch of Cocoanuts." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sherlock Holmes (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
(uncredited)
Written and Composed by John Glover Kind
Performed by Basil Rathbone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent Holmes yarn
3 June 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

This entry in the Sherlock Holmes series is one of the best and it sees the great Basil Rathbone reprise his role as the eloquent sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, once again. This film sees the world's greatest detective face off against his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty, who plans to not only commit the world's greatest crime, but do it right under the nose of our protagonist. Like most detective dramas, this one keeps itself alive by offering the audience a constant sense of intrigue and ensuring that we follow the mystery along with Sherlock Holmes. The film also benefits from it's central character, who is always a delight to have on screen before you. Holmes is brought to life with a confidant and assured persona, and you always get the impression that he knows exactly what he's doing. His mannerisms are also a treat, and the way that Holmes uses his spare time to do things such as play violin to houseflies, is absurdly funny and helps to build the character into the eccentric and intelligent man that he is.

While a few people, such as Peter Cushing for example, have played Sherlock Holmes; it will always be Basil Rathbone that will be best remembered for it. His persona blends exquisitely with that of the central character, and it makes for a great piece of casting. His mannerisms and personality are great throughout, and Basil Rathbone was clearly born for this role. The rest of the casting is good too, with Nigel Bruce in the role of Watson making the best of it, and also cult favourite George Zucco, who brings class and sophistication to the role of Holmes' arch enemy Professor Moriarty. The story itself is strong, and the two mysteries that run through it combine well together and both threads are interesting enough to keep the audience entertained throughout. It's a shame that films like this aren't made any more as they make for a great slice of entertainment, as we watch a mystery unravel before our eyes. Still, a lot were made in the 30's and 40's and I plan to track them all down!


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