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||IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from votes
||Release: 1 February 1946 (USA) /
||Director: Frank Gruber,
||Stars: Alan Mowbray, Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Dennis Hoey, Frederick Worlock, Geoffrey Steele, Mary Forbes, Nigel Bruce, Renee Godfrey, Skelton Knaggs
||Synopsis: 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 <[email protected]>
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You gotta love the classic Sherlock Holmes films - and I certainly do!
To be honest, I wasn't expecting all that much out of Terror by Night -
it's not often mentioned alongside the best of the series, and I'm not
really sure what the reason for that is. Set aboard a speeding train,
Terror by Night breathes a claustrophobic atmosphere throughout and
does everything that you could possibly want one of these classic
pictures to do. The last film in the Sherlock Holmes series, Dressed to
Kill, was sub-par (but certainly not bad!) so it's good to see that the
entries in the series leading up to that lapse didn't go the same way.
The cast outdo themselves as usual, with Basil Rathbone providing the
central role as only he can. Nigel Bruce joins him in support as the
inept but lovable Dr Watson, and their chemistry is superb as usual.
Perhaps not quite as great as some of the earlier films; but then
again, they had done this twelve times already by this point. Finally,
Dennis Hoey in the role of Scotland Yard inspector Lestrade makes up
the cast. His presence really is underrated in the series, and he helps
to give the film all-important extra comic dimension.
A few of the Holmes films made during World War Two annoyed me because
of the rampant and often ham-fisted propaganda themes, so maybe one of
the reason why this film appealed to me so much is that it stays away
from any such themes. What we have instead is a streamlined and simple
plot, which allows for more of what we tuned in for; namely, Holmes
solving a mystery. The great detective has been hired to guard a lady
carrying a rare diamond, The Star of Rhodesia, aboard a train bound for
Edinburgh. I won't give anything else away, but I will say that while a
few of the plot twists become apparent before they happen; most of them
don't, and Terror by Night represents a solid hour of mystery. The
classic style that makes the other films such a joy is here too; and
because of the fact that this film (or any others in the series) never
makes a direct bid for greatness, it is easy to enjoy and ignore any
flaws that may ensue. This film isn't often mentioned when talking
about the best Sherlock Holmes films - and it is topped by certain
entries in the series. However, Terror by Night is a more than solid
entry and you'll do well not to skip it!
Tags for Terror by Night Full Movie
, Basil Rathbone
, Billy Bevan
, Dennis Hoey
, Frederick Worlock
, Geoffrey Steele
, Mary Forbes
, Nigel Bruce
, Renee Godfrey
, Skelton Knaggs
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