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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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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 ... Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ... Lloyd Brandon
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Holmes Herbert ... Justice
George Regas ... Mateo
Mary Forbes ... Lady Conyngham
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Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darryl F. Zanuck directed that the story concentrate more on suspense and less on "cops and robbers," and he also suggested Cecil Kellaway for the role of Ronald Ramsgate, Forrester Harvey for Bassick and Lionel Atwill for the Justice. See more »

Goofs

At c.10 minutes Holmes' left-hand fingers barely move and his right hand is equally immobile when he plays his violin, pizzicato, emphasizing that he is miming throughout. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: You've a magnificent brain, Moriarty. I admire it. I admire it so much I'd like to present it pickled in alcohol to the London Medical Society.
Professor Moriarty: That would make an interesting exhibit. Holmes, you've only now barely missed sending me to the gallows. You're the one man in England clever enough to defeat me. The situation has become impossible.
Sherlock Holmes: Have you any suggestions?
Professor Moriarty: I'm going to break you, Holmes. I'm going to bring off right under your nose the most incredible crime of the century and you'll ...
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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

Follows The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
(uncredited)
Written and Composed by John Glover Kind
(1907)
Performed by Basil Rathbone
See more »

User Reviews

 
The most astounding crime of the Nineteenth Century Foxed
20 March 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

The only other in-period Rathbone Holmes film, this is brim full of atmosphere and high production values, never mind about how good the acting and direction was too. The many long scenes were taken leisurely which enabled me to get a real feel for Victorian London with all the fog outside the Fox set windows. Sadly the one aspect slightly lacking was the story but only through the comparison to Hound, overall Adventures is easily the best of the rest and the best Holmes-Moriarty duel on film.

Rathbone and Zucco souped up the mental jousting and added something more to the legend, it really was a pity Zucco couldn't do the other two Moriarty outings at Universal. Although Atwill and Daniell were both excellent as well - maybe the part couldn't fail as Holmes' foil! Ida Lupino played her melodramatic part well, she could have smiled at least once though! Nigel Bruce as faithful Watson was perfect as usual, at one point even to lying down and rolling over in the gutter for his ... master.

All in all, a notch down from Hound but in quality a long drop down from this to the Universals, much as I love them too.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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