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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

During the UCLA Sherlock Holmes Restoration Project (1993-2003) they were unable to find any 35mm elements of the main title for this film. The restored version uses a blow-up from a used 16mm television syndication print which was dissolved into the proper point. The main title of the restored version shows a decrease in resolution, increased grain and a reduction in image registration. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 7mins) The henchman throws a dagger at Holmes, which sticks in the wall next to the photo on the mantlepiece. Seconds later, when the police enter the room, the dagger has vanished. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: The truth is only arrived at... by the pain staking process of eliminating the untrue.
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 »


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 Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes Stories
20 February 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

"Dressed to Kill" puts Sherlock Holmes and the devoted but bumbling Dr. Watson on the trail of a ruthless gang intent on securing - by hook, crook or thrown dagger - three seemingly innocuous music boxes. The boxes come from a workshop in one of England's famous prisons. Perhaps vocational rehabilitation of cons has its downside.

The conspirators - a suave gentleman-type, a thuggish chauffeur and a beautiful woman - come close to writing finis to Holmes's career and his life. Of course they can not succeed where Dr. Moriarty has failed.

Set in a London past the time of Conan Doyle, the film features a never to be overused "follow that cab" episode. The usually exclusively cerebral Holmes here actually does some strenuous exercise and proves handy with a revolver.

Fun to watch, this isn't the best Rathbone/Bruce Holmes film but it's pleasant enough for a late, cold winter night's entertainment.

7/10.


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