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The Spider Woman (1943)

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

Writers:

Bertram Millhauser (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (story) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Gale Sondergaard ... Adrea Spedding
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Vernon Downing Vernon Downing ... Norman Locke
Alec Craig ... Radlik
Arthur Hohl ... Gilflower
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sylvia Andrew Sylvia Andrew ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
Marie De Becker Marie De Becker ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes takes on a case that the press has dubbed the pajama suicides. Eminent men are going to bed in the safety of their own homes, with everything seemingly being normal, only to commit suicide in the night. Holmes fakes his own death in the hopes of giving him a freer hand in the investigation and is convinced that a woman, a female Moriarty as he describes her, is behind the deaths. The dead men were all eminent and very wealthy. He impersonates a wealthy retired Indian military officer in the hope of drawing out the woman and he soon meets Adrea Spedding but she quickly sees through his disguise and proves herself to be the challenge Holmes predicted she would be. She is a worthy adversary and soon traps him setting him up in a carnival shooting gallery that seems to assure his death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mistress of Murder! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting lasted from May 10-early June, 1943, released January 21, 1944 (copyright 1943) . See more »

Goofs

Homes 'corrects' the fake Matthew Ordway by saying that Ordway should have said that 'the virus [of the spiders] was valuable to toxicologists.' He should have said venom, not virus. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
News Vendor: Read all about the pyjama suicide. Here you are, governor. Thank you, sir. Thank you. Read all about it, another pyjama suicide.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the Most Entertaining Movies in the Rathbone/Bruce Series
14 October 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

With an involved, detailed mystery and an elegant adversary played by Gale Sondergaard, this is one of the most entertaining features in the Sherlock Holmes series of movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. The story gets a little far-fetched, but it is quite interesting. It is loaded with plot devices pulled from several different Arthur Conan Doyle stories, and it's interesting to see how many you can catch. It also features the usual pleasant camaraderie between Rathbone and Bruce, plus Dennis Hoey as Inspector Lestrade.

As "The Spider Woman", Sondergaard creates a memorable opponent for Holmes. The slightly exaggerated role cannot have been much of a challenge for such a fine actress, but she puts her heart into it, and looks as if she is enjoying herself - as her character certainly is. By creating such a dynamic character, she also helps make the complicated story seem more plausible, and it creates a worthy challenge for Holmes.

The movie also contains the amusing bits of dialogue and detail that characterized so many of the movies in the series. The climactic sequence, in particular, is a very good combination of suspense and wit. It is a fitting way to cap off an enjoyable entry in the popular series.


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