62 user 23 critic

The Pearl of Death (1944)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 1 August 1944 (USA)
When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders.


Roy William Neill


Bertram Millhauser (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Six Napoleons") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)




Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Evelyn Ankers ... Naomi Drake
Miles Mander ... Giles Conover
Ian Wolfe ... Amos Hodder
Charles Francis Charles Francis ... Digby
Holmes Herbert ... James Goodram
Richard Aherne Richard Aherne ... Bates (as Richard Nugent)
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Rondo Hatton ... The Creeper


When a pearl with a sinister reputation for causing misfortune to its owners is stolen from a museum by a master criminal because of Sherlock Holmes' show-boating, he is naturally obliged to find it. Soon, he learns of a series of brutal murders that seemed to have been commited by a malevolent man mountain known only as the Creeper. Now, Holmes must deal with the seemingly overwhelming menace of this man and his boss in order to retrieve the pearl. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Marked... for sudden and violent Death! A Girl risked everything for it! 20 men lost their lives for it! Who was the Creeper? See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The story takes place in England, of course, and the English are famous for their fondness for tea and therefore the produce enormous numbers of teapots of all qualities. There is no need for the British to import teapots from other countries. However, two obviously American-made teapots are seen in the film. When arch-criminal Giles Conover is in prison, his breakfast or lunch tray is examined by Inspector Lestrade who suspects Conover of smuggling a message out of his cell somewhere on his tray. The teapot on the tray is an American teapot made by Hall China of East Liverpool, Ohio. Popular with collectors, this model of teapot is known as "Boston." Collectors would call it a "Hall Boston" teapot. Just a few minutes later Holmes and Watson are in their flat and on their table is another American Hall teapot, this one in the style collectors call "New York." By Googling "Hall Boston Teapot" and "Hall New York" teapot one can see other examples of them. There were also teapots named after other American cities: Baltimore, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Cleveland and perhaps others. They were extremely durable and nearly always came in a dark or deep exterior solid color with a white interior, the edge of which is always visible around the lid. The movie makers might have made the teapots English to match everything else in the film, such as the telephones, mightn't they. See more »


At around 44 minutes, the newspaper says "srriking" instead of "striking". See more »


[first lines]
Courier: Who's there?
First Ship's Steward: Steward, sir.
Courier: I say, we're not at Dover yet, are we?
First Ship's Steward: No sir, but there's a message for you, sir, in the wireless room.
Courier: I'll be right there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

US War Bonds promo tagged onto the end of the film reads: "You're not giving-just lending-when you buy war savings stamps and bonds-on sale here." See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Follows Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) See more »

User Reviews

The Pearl of Death (1944) ***
11 June 2004 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Another good Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Holmes film, one of the most entertaining of this series. It features the first appearance of Rondo Hatton as "The Creeper", a killer who snaps people's spines. Hatton was an unfortunate victim of "acromegaly" in real life, a disease which distorts and enlarges the face, hands, and feet. Director Roy William Neill takes special care to photograph him only in the shadows at first until just the right moment occurs.

THE PEARL OF DEATH wraps around an interesting plot of a trio of crooks looking to possess the valued pearl of the title. This includes solid work from Universal's usual scream queen Evelyn Ankers, uncharacteristically used as a baddie this time around in juxtaposition of her usual damsel in distress persona. Regulars Rathbone, Bruce and Dennis Hoey are all in top form, though the comedy factor is played up to the hilt on several occasions. Great fun all around.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

1 August 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death 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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