6.8/10
4,664
67 user 21 critic

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Edward T. Lowe Jr. (screenplay) (as Edward T. Lowe), Scott Darling (screenplay) (as W. Scott Darling) | 4 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in... See full summary »

Director: John Rawlins
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Evelyn Ankers
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey
Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to Washington D.C. in order to prevent a secret document from falling into enemy hands.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Marjorie Lord
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. 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
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of so-called "pajama suicides". He knows the female villain behind them is as cunning as Moriarty and as venomous as a spider.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Patricia Morison
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Holmes is recruited to escort the heir to a European throne safely back to his homeland after his father's assassination.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Marjorie Riordan
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Aubrey Mather
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster. But Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gerald Hamer
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Lionel Atwill ... Moriarty (as Moriarity)
Kaaren Verne ... Charlotte Eberli
William Post Jr. ... Dr. Franz Tobel
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Holmes Herbert ... Sir. Reginald
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Edit

Storyline

Working for the British government, Sherlock Holmes manages to spirit Dr. Franz Tobel out of Switzerland and into England before the GESTAPO are able to get to him. Tobel has devised an immensely accurate bomb site and while he is willing to make it available to the Allies, he insists on manufacturing it himself. Soon however, he vanishes and it is left to Homes, assisted by the bumbling Dr. Watson, to decipher a coded message he left behind. Holmes soon realizes that he is up against his old nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Indonesian

Release Date:

12 February 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Weapon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A modern source lists Philip Van Zandt as Kurt and includes Henry Daniell in the cast as well. However, the role of Kurt is played by Harry Woods and neither Van Zandt nor Daniell appear in the film at all. The unidentified actor mistaken for Daniell plays a Scotland Yard detective slowly driving the police vehicle following the trail of paint, toward the climax of the film. First seen in 3/4 profile leaning out the car window, he does seem to resemble Daniell. However, when he speaks the accompanying line "they fade out again sir" to Dennis Hoey (Insp. Lestrade), and subsequent lines, he clearly has a rather heavy *Brooklyn* accent, and seen in other shots during the scene does not in any way resemble Daniell, and the momentary appearance to the contrary is clearly an optical illusion. See more »

Goofs

When the Nazi agents back up their car outside Dr Tobel's apartment at about 0:08, it strikes the sidewalk causing the row of buildings to shake, indicating it was really a large backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John H. Watson: Woman? What woman?
Sherlock Holmes: She's blonde. Five foot six, full lipped and very affectionate.
Dr. John H. Watson: Oh, really?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SWITZERLAND See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »

Connections

Followed by Terror by Night (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Heard as Sherlock Holmes leaves the Golden Hawk
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sherlock Holmes versus...the Nazis?
13 February 2006 | by james_oblivionSee all my reviews

It was an interesting enough idea, I suppose, to set a series of Sherlock Holmes films in the "modern day"...at the time, the WWII era...but those who are familiar with the first two Rathbone/Bruce films might be thrown off by it. When the rights passed from Fox to Universal, the two stars were retained, but apparently our two heroes stepped through a hole in the space-time continuum. The Fox films were Victorian period pieces, whereas Universal took the opportunity to utilize Sherlock Holmes in the series of modern-day B-movies into which this entry falls, several of which were fairly standard wartime propaganda...pretty much the order of the day for Hollywood films circa 1942-1945.

While the film may boast some entertainment value, the plot is actually quite silly. Sherlock Holmes (sporting a remarkably bad haircut) has been charged with the task of guarding Dr. Franz Tobel, the inventor of a bomb sight (which, when you see it, will give you an idea of what the film's budget was) that will apparently revolutionize airborne warfare. Holmes's task is to keep Tobel safe (at which he fails) and to keep the bomb sight out of the hands of the Nazis. When Tobel is abducted, Holmes must unravel a coded message before his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty does. Though the credits state that the film is an adaptation of Conan Doyle's story, The Dancing Men, only the code itself is taken from said story. And a small reference to another story, The Empty House, also shows up early in the film. Apart from that, you'll find no Conan Doyle here.

Interestingly enough, what makes Tobel's bomb sight so remarkable, apart from the fact that the bombs seem to land where they're supposed to, is never expounded upon...leaving the viewer to assume that both Allied and German bomb sights were abysmally inaccurate, as both sides are clamoring to get their hands on one that actually works. Probably not the best way to bolster confidence in the Allied fighting machine...but then, logic is scarce in this outing. Holmes relies just as heavily upon chance and educated guesses as he does upon deduction, and it's the bumbling Watson (who was never bumbling in the original stories) who inadvertently provides the solution to the major stumbling block (despite the fact that the solution should have been obvious to someone as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes).

All in all, this film has its moments, but fails to live up to the legend of the world's greatest detective. Rathbone is a fine Holmes and Bruce (despite the almost unforgivable dumbing down of the Watson character) does a good job, as well. But much of the supporting cast seem to be phoning in their performances. The production values are rather noticeably low and the script is fairly ludicrous. I still watch this one from time to time, and certainly prefer it over Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (the first Universal Holmes entry)...but I can't help but think that Sherlock Holmes deserves better than this.

Interesting sidenote - This film contains the series' one and only reference to Sherlock Holmes's hypodermic cocaine usage. As Holmes is describing to Moriarty an elaborate hypothetical death scenario involving an intravenous needle, Moriarty interjects "The needle to the last...eh, Holmes?" How this managed to slip by the censors at the Breen Office (which, at the time, strictly forbade such references) is perhaps the one great mystery to be found in this film.


25 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 67 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed