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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:

(as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as William Drake) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sherlock Holmes
... Dr. Watson
... Ann Brandon
... Jerrold Hunter
... Billy
... Professor Moriarty
... Sir Ronald Ramsgate
... Inspector Bristol
... Bassick
May Beatty ... Mrs. Jameson
Peter Willes ... Lloyd Brandon
... Mrs. Hudson
... Justice
... 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:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last Sherlock Holmes film made at 20th Century Fox. 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 »

Connections

Featured in The Real Sherlock Holmes (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
(uncredited)
Written and Composed by John Glover Kind
Performed by Basil Rathbone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Showdown between Geniuses.
2 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Every great hero needs at least one arch enemy that nearly is his equivalent in intellectual faculties and ingenious working methods. For Sherlock Holmes this nemesis is Professor Moriarty and the fact that he appears in this film first, moreover portrayed by the more-than-brilliant cult star George Zucco, makes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" maybe the single best entry in the long-running Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movie cycle! The sublime interactions between Holmes and Moriarty lift the quality of this film up to an higher level and, for the first time ever, you get the impression that our master detective is up against an opponent who really forces him to use ALL of his intellect for once. Almost purely for the fun of it, Professor Moriarty decides to embarrass Sherlock Holmes and steal the hugely valuable crown jewels right from under his nose. Through well thought out red herrings and distractions, Moriarty manages to confuse Holmes and to mess up his sense for priority, giving him with a perfect opportunity to steal the jewels. This installment is less of a horror film because the emphasis merely lies on the nuanced acting performances as well as on the light-hearted rivalry between Holmes and Watson. The Victorian setting & timing is excellent, and you should enjoy it as much as you can here, because the series got uplifted to the actual 1940's after this, resulting in a lot of redundant wartime propaganda. Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are splendid as usual, but the show is undeniably stolen by George Zucco in his familiar role of criminal mastermind. Particularly the sadistic yet sophisticated conversations with his butler are pure class. The only elements that slightly disappointed me was the rushed and action-packed ending which stands in contrast with the rest of the patiently scripted story. Nevertheless, highly recommended!


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