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The Crucifer of Blood (1991)

A beautiful young woman asks Holmes to help her father, a former army captain and hopeless opium addict break free of the curse surrounding a stolen treasure.


Fraser C. Heston


Arthur Conan Doyle (novel), Paul Giovanni (play) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Sherlock Holmes
Richard Johnson ... Dr. Watson
Susannah Harker ... Irene St. Claire
Edward Fox ... Alistair Ross
John Castle ... Neville St. Claire
Simon Callow ... Inspector Lestrade
Clive Wood Clive Wood ... Jonathan Small
James Coyle James Coyle ... Birdy Johnson
Kaleem Janjua Kaleem Janjua ... Durga Dass
Stefan Kalipha Stefan Kalipha ... Wali Dad
Lloyd McGuire ... P.C. Hopkins
Kiran Shah ... Tonga
Sidney Livingstone Sidney Livingstone ... Mordecai Smith
Roly Lamas Roly Lamas ... Leper


Beautiful, young Irne St. Claire enlists Holmes' and Watson's help for her father, a former veteran of the Great Indian Mutiny, who has become a hopeless opium addict. His drug dependence is a direct result of guilt and fear arising from a blood pact of secrecy made during the siege of Agra in 1857 in which he was party to the theft of a maharajah's treasure, murder, and betrayal. When an avaricious co-conspirator dies under mysterious circumstances, St. Clair is certain that the curse will strike him next. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is one mystery that it NOT elementary, my dear Watson...


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El crucifijo de sangre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charlton Heston had been briefly considered by Walter Mirisch for " The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes " but director Billy Wilder wasn't keen on the idea. Richard Attenborough would have been Doctor Watson. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
See more »


Version of The Sign of Four (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Not quite enough blood to this crucifer
23 April 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and get a lot of enjoyment out of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Also love Basil Rathbone's and especially Jeremy Brett's interpretations to death. So would naturally see any Sherlock Holmes adaptation that comes my way, regardless of its reception.

Both loosely based on, and also in a way closely indebted to, 'The Sign of Four', 'The Crucifer of Blood' is worth a look, but more as a one time watch rather than repeat viewings. Not one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations, like the best of the Jeremy Brett Granada series and the best of the Basil Rathbone films. Also not one of the worst, not like any of the Matt Frewer films (particularly 'The Sign of Four') or the abominable Peter Cook version of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.

There are a good deal of strengths here. It has an eerie opening and the ending is attention-grabbing and really quite genius. The touches of the 'The Sign of Four' story provided a good deal of entertainment, as do the detective work and deductions that there's a heavy emphasis of.

Some thought provoking dialogue and nice photography also. There are some good performances, with Richard Johnson a strong, loyal Watson and Susannah Harker quite touching. Bernard Fox and John Castle give scene-stealing turns, especially Castle as the most interesting supporting character. Clive Wood is a good Jonathan Small, though nowhere near as much as John Thaw in the Brett adaptation, and Kiran Shah is quite freaky as Tonga.

Charlton Heston didn't work for me as Holmes. Like Heston, just not as Holmes, a character that he portrays almost like he was spoofing Holmes or something, with nowhere near enough nuance, warmth or intensity, and it doesn't work. Although Lestrade was never the most intelligent of inspectors, he has rarely been this much of an idiot or bumbler which Simon Callow overdoes.

Enough of the story does intrigue but there is some plodding pacing, a general lack of suspense and at times too much tongue-in-cheek, some implausibility or things not explained as well as they ought and it all feels rather stagy and restricted and with too much of a standard made for television feel. The production values generally look like they were hastily made on a tight budget and the direction doesn't seem to know whether to go the suspense or tongue-in-cheek route, instead going for both and doesn't gel.

Overall, not great but far from bad. Worth a one-time watch. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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