6.9/10
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69 user 22 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 released from 1939 to 1946 based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. Rathbone was reportedly tired of playing the character. However, he would play Holmes on the stage, radio and television at various times the rest of his career. See more »

Goofs

The premise of the film is that the only way the prisoner in Dartmoor can communicate with his colleagues outside the prison is through the music boxes. So how does he get the information to them about when and where the boxes are to be sold? See more »

Quotes

Commissioner of Scotland Yard: Before going further, Dr. Watson, I must inform you that this matter is not to be mentioned outside of this room.
Watson: [Indignantly] Of course not. Do I look like a man who'd gossip?
Holmes: Let's not go into that now, old fellow, shall we?
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

Originally, this movie ended with the final credits superimposed over a shot of Holmes and Watson leaving Dr. Johnson's house. This footage was trimmed by TV distributors and is now lost, so the MPI restorers had to tack on a THE END sequence from another film to finish this Sherlock Holmes film. See more »

Connections

Featured in America's Top Sleuths (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Swagman
(uncredited)
Australian folk song
Played on a music box several times
Played on piano and on violin by Basil Rathbone and whistled by him
Played on piano by Wallace Scott
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Of The Wonderful Rathbone-Bruce Holmes Movies
24 September 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I have to agree with about everyone here on two things: 1 - it's sad to see this great combination of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce end its run of Sherlock Holmes films, and 2 - it's too bad it ended with a mediocre film.

The story involves several music boxes which are made in prison and sold at an auction. Whoever buys them, gets killed. (I was sorry to see Dr. Watson's friend "Stinky" bite the dust so early, as he was one of the more interesting characters.)

The main culprit is a deadly female who reminds Holmes of an ex-foe he has great respect for: "Irene Adler." This character is "Hilda Courtney" (Patricia Morrison).

Actually, if I was grading this, I'd give it a C for "average." It's not the worst one in the series, as some people think, but it's not riveting, either, and I can see why the guys decided to "pack it in" after this one. The end of World War II also signaled the end of this series as a number of them were WWII stories.

It was a wonderful ride. I own all of them in the series and have a high regard for everyone connected with the set. I still think Rathbone is THE Sherlock Holmes and always will be.


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