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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 12 February 1943 (USA)
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 »
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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
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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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of several titles in the Sherlock Holmes series whose original copyrights were apparently not renewed and have thereby fallen into public domain; as a result, seriously inferior copies are presently being offered by a number of VHS and DVD dealers who do not have access to original studio masters. See more »

Goofs

While Holmes is in Switzerland, disguised as a book collector, he drives in a car with the steering wheel located on the right side while driving on the left side of the road. In Switzerland, people drive cars on the right side with steering wheels mounted on the left side. See more »

Quotes

Professor Moriarty: Brilliant man, Sherlock Holmes. Too bad he was honest.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SWITZERLAND See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Followed by The Woman in Green (1945) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Middling effort.
8 March 2004 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

The first two Rathbone/Bruce movies were pretty good. Not just because they were in period but because their production values were good and because some effort went into the script. Only the first, "The Hound of the Baskervilles", was based on a Conan-Doyle novella. The second was a pastiche made famous on the stage by Gillette.

Then the franchise was moved to Universal Studios and a series of mostly declining quality was established. This was an early example. It's not terrible, not embarrassingly bad, it just loses something in being updated to the 1940s and in not having the atmosphere Conan-Doyle managed to inject into his characters and into the atmosphere itself. Not to mention some of Conan-Doyle's sometimes unwittingly delicious bon mots -- "The wind sobbed like a child in the chimney."

"The Secret Weapon" doesn't tell us much we don't already know about Holmes and Watson. There is a variation on Conan-Doyle's "Dancing Men" but not really much else that's too interesting. I never cared much for Lionel Atwill as an actor, and he looks especially clunky as Moriarty. Moriarty should be a reptilian ectomorph with an oscillating head.

Still, this is okay for fans of the series. Homes wears his hair combed from back to front on the sides, which is a little different. I wish the code had allowed him to do some cocaine once in a while. The best of the Universal films was unquestionably "The Scarlet Claw," so if you have to choose, choose that one to watch.


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