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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.


Roy William Neill


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




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
Whit Bissell ... London Bobbie (uncredited)


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


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Did You Know?


The lines that Holmes quotes at the end of the film are a condensed version of William Shakespeare's lines from Richard II. [Richard II, 2.1, 40-51] See more »


As Holmes and Dr. Tobel approach 221B Baker Street for the first time, Dr. Tobel trips over rubble and Holmes says "You must get used to our London blackouts." But as soon as they enter the flat, Holmes turns on the lights with the window curtains open - a clear breach of blackout procedure. Nor do Dr. Watson or Mrs. Hudson close the curtains or say anything when they enter. See more »


Professor Moriarty: Closer to the end, Holmes. Closer and closer. Each second a few more drops leave your desiccated body. And you can feel 'em can't you? You're perfectly conscious aren't you, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: I shall be conscious long after you're dead, Moriarty.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SWITZERLAND See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Referenced in Svengoolie: Calling Dr. Death (2016) See more »


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

User Reviews

Not A Lot Of Credibility But A Whole Lot Of Entertainment
16 January 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) begins this story in disguise, helping to smuggle famous physicist "Dr. Franz Tobel" (William Post) out of Switzeralnad and under the watchful eye of the Nazis, who want his bomb sight plans. The Allies obviously want it, too, and Sherlock is there to help. Dr. Tobel has invented an instrument which greatly aids in the accuracy of aerial bombardment.

Holmes and Dr. Tobel arrive safely back at Baker Street but the scientist would rather be alone, for some mysterious reason, although he had promised the English to help them, not the Germans. He stays true to that promise but there are some desperate moments for Holmes and the English along the way.

It's an entertaining film and one in which our famous detective uses not one but three different disguises. He needs all the help he can get when he goes up against his arch-rival, "Professor Moriarity." One complaint: if Moriarity was that evil, he would have dispensed with Holmes without batting an eyelash, instead of giving him openings to escape. It's pretty sad, too, when the usual dim-witted Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) has to rescue his boss from certain death a couple of times!

Yes, there are some credibility issues in this story but if you can put your brain on hold a few times, it's a fun film to watch....and it looks beautiful, thanks to the great restoration job done on this DVD. It makes the old print come alive with some wonderful visuals, particularly the night-time shots.

One other note: whoever did the English subtitles in here misspelled or misinterpreted at least a half dozen words. It's very sloppy work, and not the first time I've encountered this watching the entire series on the restored DVD set.

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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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