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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.


Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)


Edwin Blum (screenplay), William Absalom Drake (screenplay) (as William Drake) | 1 more credit »




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 ... Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ... Lloyd Brandon
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Holmes Herbert ... Justice
George Regas ... Mateo
Mary Forbes ... Lady Conyngham


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


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Lionel Atwill was originally cast as Prof. Moriarty, but was replaced before shooting by George Zucco. However, Atwill would go on to play Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) also starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively. See more »


The popular variety-hall song "I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" is performed at Lady Conyngham's party. This was composed in 1907, thirteen years after the film's 1894 setting. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: I've decided to accept your case, Miss Brandon. I shall help you all I can.
Ann Brandon: Oh, thank you.
Jerrold Hunter: We don't want your interference, Mr. Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes: I interfere whenever and wherever I like, Mr. Hunter.
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 »


Followed by Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) See more »


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

User Reviews

The Best Sherlock Holmes
12 July 2006 | by nnnn45089191See all my reviews

The follow-up to the the very successful The Hound of the Baskervilles,is even better than its predecessor.Basil Rathbone gives a marvelous performance as the super-sleuth.His performance in disguise as a singer at a party is fantastic.He was totally unrecognizable.Nigel Bruce was as always good as Holmes 's sidekick Dr.Watson.But what elevates this entry in the Holmes-series was the portrayal of George Zucco's Dr.Moriarty,Holmes's nemesis. Moriarty's plot to break his enemy was rather clever.I enjoyed seeing Rathbone really getting in to the persona of Holmes in this one.The movie's short running-time was perhaps my only disappointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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