7.0/10
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66 user 18 critic

Dressed to Kill (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery | 7 June 1946 (USA)
Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Leonard Lee (screenplay), Frank Gruber (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Patricia Morison ... Mrs. Hilda Courtney
Edmund Breon ... Julian 'Stinky' Emery (as Edmond Breon)
Frederick Worlock ... Colonel Cavanaugh (as Frederic Worlock)
Carl Harbord Carl Harbord ... Inspector Hopkins
Patricia Cameron Patricia Cameron ... Evelyn Clifford
Holmes Herbert ... Ebenezer Crabtree
Harry Cording ... Hamid
Leyland Hodgson ... Tour Guide
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Ian Wolfe ... Commissioner of Scotland Yard
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes is intrigued when Dr. Watson's friend, Julian 'Stinky' Emery, visits and tells them of a strange robbery at his flat the previous night. Stinky is an avid collector of music boxes and has several quite expensive pieces in his vast collection. The previous night, someone broke into his flat and knocked him unconscious when he tried to intervene. All they took however was a simple wooden music box he had bought at auction that day for a mere £2. The box was one of three available for sale and as Holmes and Watson begin to trace the other purchasers, it becomes apparent that someone will stop at nothing, including murder, to retrieve all three. When Holmes learns the identity of the music box maker, he is convinced it contains directions to the retrieval of something very valuable that the government has kept from the public. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Queen . . . of a Crime Cult !

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prelude to Murder See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Black & White and Color)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The last of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Watson is repeatedly described as having "no ear for music". Yet in two previous films of the series, he is seen both singing and playing the tuba. See more »

Quotes

Watson: Humph, Irene Adler, what a striking looking woman from the brief glance I had of her. Seems only yesterday. What charm. Hmmmm. What poise. And what a mind! Sharp enough and brilliant enough to outwit the-the great Sherlock Holmes himself!
Holmes: I take it that the new issue of the Strand Magazine is out containing another of your slightly lurid tales.
Watson: It is indeed!
Holmes: And what do you call this one?
Watson: I call it "A Scandal in Bohemia." Not a bad title, huh?
Holmes: Hmm. If you must record my exploits, I do wish you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

This movie's final credit sequence rolled over a scene of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce leaving Dr. Johnston's house. This sequence was later removed by a TV distributor and has been replaced with a THE END frame from one of the earlier Sherlock Holmes films. See more »

Alternate Versions

The opening credits were also trimmed by the same distributor; the only version the restorers could find that had the film's title on it was from an old broadcast print whose image was blown up to match the size of the rest of the film. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

London Bridge is Falling Down
(uncredited)
Traditional children's song
Played on a music box at the toy store
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The last of the finest.
10 November 2007 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

In their last on-screen outing as Holmes and Watson (they still did radio plays with each other after this movie) Rathbone and Bruce find themselves involved in a music box mystery. It seems that anyone who bought one of three matching boxes from a recent auction ends up either dead or with a nasty bump on the head. Assuming that there must be a weird connection Holmes takes the case.

The story rivals even The Voice of Terror in terms of sheer implausibility. When the purpose of the music box is reveal you have to wonder why anyone would go to all that effort. But it's still entertaining and Patricia Morrison makes for a brilliant villainess.

Producer and Director Roy William Neill died not long after this film was released, which is probably why it ended up being the last. They could have went on a lot longer, especially if they started using some of Conan Doyle's original works (something that they very rarely did, opting for original screenplays instead), although this one does reference two of stories as past cases.

A fine, if unspectacular end of a definitive era.


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