Sherlock Holmes is engaged by the Home Office to locate a British subject traveling for his law firm to Washington, D.C. The man had flown to New York City and then took the train to Washington. On the outskirts of the city, the man was kidnapped and has not been seen for several days now. Holmes learns from the Home Office that the man was in fact a government agent who was delivering a highly secret, two page document to the US government. In verifying the contents at his flat, Holmes concludes the document had been reduced to microfilm. The question becomes whether he may have had the opportunity to pass the microfilm to someone else on the train before he was taken.Written by
Near the beginning of the movie, the bar/lounge compartment on the train was too wide to be on a real train car and the furnishings and passengers did not weave as the train was racing along. See more »
Yes, I shall write a monograph some day... on the noxious habit of accumulating useless trivia.
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Prologue: Sherlock Holmes, the immortal character of fiction created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is ageless, invincible and unchanging.
In solving significant problems of the present day he remains - as ever - the supreme master of deductive reasoning. See more »
This is one of the most tense and exciting of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies, quickly establishing an atmosphere of danger and uncertainty, and maintaining it to the end. There is more than enough suspense and action to make up for a couple of minor holes in the story, and the setting in Washington generally works rather well as a change of pace from the usual British settings.
The story follows the fate of a secret courier and the vital documents that he is carrying, with a gang of villains that targets several innocent bystanders in their desperate desire to get hold of the documents. It's an interesting story that is developed at an effective pace by Roy William Neill, and in particular, the way that the matchbook is used is almost worthy of Hitchcock.
George Zucco has only a few scenes, but he does a fine job as Holmes's adversary. Rathbone and Bruce work smoothly together as usual, and Bruce gets several good moments with his reactions to American culture. It's not the kind of Watson that Arthur Conan Doyle would have recognized, but it works well in its own right, and it makes good use of Bruce's talents. Overall, it's one of the better movies in the enjoyable series.
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