Sherlock Holmes Collection, Vol. 1 [4 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 5888989
- Release Date: 10/28/2003
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- Commentary from renowned British author David Stuart Davies
- Photo Gallery
- Original movie posters
There are those who consider Sherlock Holmes Faces Death to be the best of Universal's Holmes series, though others hold out for 1944's The Scarlet Claw. Based loosely on Conan Doyle's The Musgrave Ritual, the plot finds Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Watson (Nigel Bruce) being summoned to the Musgrave estate when several mysterious murders occur. By the time the mystery is solved, Sally Musgrave (Hillary Brooke), young mistress of the estate, has decided to donate her property to "the people" as part of the war effort, cuing another of Holmes' patriotic curtain speeches. The best moment occurs when Holmes suddenly realizes that the floor of Musgrave castle resembles a huge chess board -- a clue vital to the ultimate solution of the case. Peter Lawford shows up unbilled as an inebriated sailor. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Sherlock Holmes in Washington
One of the silliest and most unbelievable of the Universal Sherlock Holmes series, Sherlock Holmes in Washington is also undeniably one of the most enjoyable. The story gets under way when an Allied spy (an unbilled Gerald Hamer, one of this series' "regulars") smuggles a valuable piece of microfilm into the U.S. The film is hidden in a matchbook cover that passes through several hands, ultimately ending up in the possession of Washington, D.C., socialite Nancy Partridge (Marjorie Lord). Brought to Washington from London to help locate the missing film, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) do their best to rescue Nancy from the clutches of the Axis villains -- nearly losing their own lives in the process. And when the case is finally solved, Holmes reveals that there's still another twist to the proceedings -- a few minutes before he delivers his obligatory patriotic quote from Winston Churchill. One of the delights of Sherlock Holmes in Washington is the casting of George Zucco and Henry Daniell as the bad guys; both actors also played Holmes' archenemy Moriarty in other series entries. It's also fun to see poor old Watson tangle with American slang and a wad of bubble gum, and to watch as Holmes and Watson driven past a series of famous D.C. monuments -- covering several miles in a matter of seconds! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
The second of Universal's "modernized" Sherlock Holmes films pits the Great Detective (Basil Rathbone, of course) against that "Napoleon of Crime," Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill). Surpassing his previous skullduggery, Moriarty has now aligned himself with the Nazis and has dedicated himself to stealing a top-secret bomb sight developed by expatriate European scientist Dr. Franz Tobel (William Post Jr.). Before being kidnapped by Moriarty's minions, Tobel was enterprising enough to disassemble his invention and distribute its components among several other patriotic scientists. Racing against the clock, Holmes and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) try to stem the murders of Tobel's colleagues and prevent Moriarty from getting his mitts on the precious secret weapon. The now-famous climax finds Holmes playing for time by allowing Moriarty to drain all the blood from his body, drop by drop ("The needle to the last, eh Holmes?" gloats the villain). Dennis Hoey makes his first appearance as the dull-witted, conclusion-jumping Inspector Lestrade. Constructed more like a serial than a feature film, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (based loosely on Conan Doyle's The Dancing Men) is one of the fastest-moving entries in the series; it is also one of the most readily accessible, having lapsed into public domain in 1969. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
Cast & Crew
- Basil Rathbone - Sherlock Holmes
- Nigel Bruce - Dr. John H. Watson
- Hillary Brooke - Sally Musgrave
- Milburn Stone - Capt. Vickery
- Arthur Margetson - Dr. Sexton