7.3/10
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61 user 19 critic

The House of Fear (1945)

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Roy Chanslor (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Aubrey Mather ... Alastair
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Paul Cavanagh ... Simon Merrivale
Holmes Herbert ... Alan Cosgrave
Harry Cording ... John Simpson
Sally Shepherd Sally Shepherd ... Mrs. Monteith
Gavin Muir ... Chalmers
Florette Hillier Florette Hillier ... Alison MacGregor
David Clyde ... Alex MacGregor
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Storyline

Seven rich men retire to a Scottish castle and promptly begin to die in violent fashion. Each death is preceded by the delivery of orange pips to the next target. As all the likely victims are heaviliy insured, Sherlock Holmes is asked by the insurance companies to investigate. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Taglines:

HORROR stalking its halls!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released on a double bill with The Mummy's Curse (1944). See more »

Goofs

Holmes enters a bedroom with his pipe in his mouth (as show from the side/behind). The next shot (immediately after) is from the inside of the second room and shows him with his pipe in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chalmers: [narrating] The events I'm about to relate began a fortnight ago. In a grim old house perched high on a cliff on the west coast of Scotland. This singular structure is known as Driercliff House. Gathered there for dinner were the seven members of a most extraordinary club called the Good Comrades. Into this unique gathering came their melancholy housekeeper, Mrs. Monteith, bearing a message for Ralph King, a retired barrister. King received it... casually. When they saw the contents...
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Connections

Followed by The Woman in Green (1945) See more »

User Reviews

 
Murder is an insidious thing Watson.
1 October 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes agrees to an insurance company request to investigate the gruesome deaths of wealthy gentlemen living in a Scottish mansion. Each death is predicted by the strange delivery of Orange Pips to the next intended victim.

Lets get the main fact out of the way first, although an adaptation of Conan Doyle's Holmes story, {Adventures} The Five Orange Pips, The House Of Fear bears little resemblance to that particular source. So purist fans of the literary aspects are in for a let down. Or are they? Directed by Roy William Neill with the screenplay coming from Roy Chanslor, this tenth entry in the Rathbone/Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films is a deliciously atmospheric mystery piece holding its own. Set very much in the creepy mansion formula, House Of Fear, with all its off kilter camera work {beautifully realised now with the marvellous restoration job}, utilises the scope for "nothing is ever what it seems" to great effect. Thus of course giving Holmes {Rathbone impeccable as usual} license to detect with great gusto and ingenuity. This is after all what one wants from a Sherlock Holmes film me thinks? The film is also aided by some rather fine work from the sound department, winds and footsteps are sharp to the ears, again impacting on the mood to fully involve the viewer.

While the relatively short running time stops it from being a fully born out mystery, and yes if you dig deep enough you will find a couple of creaky plot holes. The House Of Fear is still one of the better entries in this marvellous series of films. Sometimes it's all about the characters and the situation they find themselves in. With that, this becomes an essential Holmes movie, regardless of grumbles from purists and plot holers alike. 7/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear 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
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