7.0/10
4,540
73 user 21 critic

Terror by Night (1946)

When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Frank Gruber (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (adapted from a story by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Dr. John H. Watson
Alan Mowbray ... Maj. Duncan-Bleek
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Renee Godfrey ... Vivian Vedder
Frederick Worlock ... Prof. William Kilbane (as Frederic Worlock)
Mary Forbes Mary Forbes ... Lady Margaret Carstairs
Skelton Knaggs ... Sands
Billy Bevan ... Train Attendant
Geoffrey Steele Geoffrey Steele ... Roland Carstairs
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Storyline

Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to prevent the theft of the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond owned by Carstairs' mother, Lady Margaret. Believing the diamond will be stolen on a train trip from London to Edinburgh, Holmes deftly switches diamonds with Lady Margaret while in her compartment. Soon after, Roland is murdered and the fake diamond is stolen. Red herrings abound as Holmes, aided by Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade, discover the murderer's hiding place and deduce that long-time foe Moriarty's henchman Colonel Sebastian Moran is somehow involved in the crime. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MURDER... at 90 Miles an Hour! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night 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

Veteran actor C. Aubrey Smith appears in a non-speaking role as an elderly man smoking a pipe on a train platform about 49 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

The exterior shots of the train show different trains, including a model and a continental locomotive. At various times running wrong track on double track lines (UK runs on the left); numbers of carriages increase and decrease; carriage livery incorrect for LMS in 1946 (or earlier), should be LMS single colour "crimson lake"; one carriage seems to be all white (and disappears later); an overhead shot of clerestory roofed trains running wrong track, whilst all the other views are arc roofed, whether model or interior shots. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: The young lady is taking her mother to Scotland for burial.
Inspector Lestrade: In a coffin?
Sherlock Holmes: That is the customary method, I believe.
See more »

Connections

Follows The House of Fear (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Pretty Good Atmospheric Holmes Mystery
30 May 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

One of the many Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce appearing as Holmes and Watson, "Terror By Night" is distinguished by a good, atmospheric setting on a train. Much of the plot itself is fairly routine, but the setting and a good climax make this a worthwhile film.

The action takes place on a train heading from London to Edinburgh, with Holmes being employed to protect a valuable diamond. Not only is there a robbery, but a murder as well, and Holmes must investigate within the confines of the train. Much of it is routine by the standards of the series, but there are a couple highlights, plus a good climax with some interesting final twists.

The train setting is the best aspect of this one. The details of the train's motion and arrangement are done convincingly. They make the film pleasant to watch, and a train is an ideal setting for a Holmes mystery. The setting also allows Bruce, as the well-meaning but bumbling Dr. Watson, to have some of his best moments as he earnestly but unsuccessfully tries to help with the investigation.

While unspectacular, most fans of the Holmes series should find "Terror By Night" pleasant and entertaining.


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