The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes Set in the Victorian Age and regarded by many as the finest of the fourteen films in the Sherlock Holmes/Basil Rathbone series, ?The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes? was originally released... more » in 1939 by Twentieth Century-Fox. Professor Moriarty (George Zucco) has at long last been brought to trial for murder, but the ?Napoleon of Crime? is acquitted after the court finds a lack of sufficient evidence. Moriarty wastes no time in plotting his next crime, but in order to be successful he must divert the attention of the Great Detective. Intimidating, anonymous letters sent to young socialite Ann Brandon (Ida Lupino) ; the murder of Miss Brandon?s brother; and threats to the security of a priceless gem consume the attention of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his companion Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce). Are these mysterious occurrences simply erroneous distractions? Are they clues to a case irrelevant to the exploits of the evil Professor Moriarty? Or, are these portents of disaster inexorably linked to the master criminal?s plan to commit a crime that will shake the very foundation of the British Empire? It is for Holmes and Watson to sort out these mysteries and, hopefully, eliminate the menace of Professor Moriarty.« less
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" series have a particular fondness for this 1939 Fox release - the last period adventure before Holmes and Dr. Watson re-emerged in a World War II setting at Universal Studios. Fox's high production values make this particular Holmes caper a standout, with classic performances from Rathbone, Bruce and George Zucco (as Professor Moriarty). Thanks to an excellent 35mm print from the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the newly remastered DVD is a definite keeper for devotees of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."
The best place to get started with film's Sherlock Holmes.
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 04/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK. What was in the water back in 1939? Was there a conspiracy to make, like, a HUNDRED movies that would last for all time?
Gone With The Wind, Gunga Din, Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington...there's like two dozen more that you'd know by name... ...and THIS was made then TOO?
Anyways, this film is a great place to get to know Sherlock Holmes by way of Basil Rathbone. I can't imagine anyone else in the role (although others honestly have done a fine job) and when I read the novels, I 'see' him.
I love the interplay between Holmes and Nigel Bruce's Dr. Watson...they simply have the parts nailed. Nailed, nailed, nailed.
The breathless story involves, among other things, Professor Moriarty (of course), a diabolical nefarious "crime of the century", a mysterious woman, men of dubious intentions, a smattering of murders, and trying to find a fiddle note that irritates houseflies.
This is one of those movies that will have you saying, after it's over, "they sure don't make 'em like they used to!"
After seeing this, I went out and bought ALL of the remaining, lovingly remastered Rathbone/Bruce films, and plan on spending a few lazy Sunday afternoons with Mr. Holmes."
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Hound Dog | Boise, ID, USA | 10/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adapted from a stage play based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" stands on its own as classic entertainment for detective fans of all ages, and may well represent the peak of the vintage 14-film series from the 1930's and 40's featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
As the legendary sleuth, Basil Rathbone further illustrates his mastery of the role with a dominating performance, which even includes a vaudeville song & dance turn in disguise. Nigel Bruce offers ample support as the ever-loyal Dr. Watson, who doesn't appear as the bumbling sidekick he would later become in the series. Ida Lupino portrays Holmes' latest client, Ann Brandon, while George Zucco appears as this film's devious Professor Moriarty.
Set authentically in the Victorian era, the story begins with Moriarty managing to elude justice (in the form of a hangman's noose) once again on a legal technicality, despite Holmes' best efforts. Afterwards, two separate plots (one of murder, one of theft) are soon rapidly afoot, but only Holmes realizes that Moriarty is somehow manipulating these diabolical events from behind the scenes.
Amidst the sinister fog of London's nights, Holmes is subsequently pushed to his limits attempting to keep his lovely client out of harm's way from a ruthless assassin, while trying to locate Moriarty in time in order to thwart his arch-nemesis' greatest scheme yet.
Lovingly restored by UCLA, this film is greatly entertaining and highly recommended!
Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 06/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many actors have tried, but none has surpassed Basil Rathbone's embodiment of Sherlock Holmes. The razor-sharp profile, hawk nose and cocaine eyes seem torn straight from the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle. This is, undeniably, one of the great pairings of actor and character in film history.Odd to think, then, that the first Holmes film with Rathbone and his faithful Dr. Watson, Nigel Bruce, gave neither man starring credit. That honor on "The Hound of the Baskervilles" went to the romantic leading man, Richard Greene.The lapse in logic was quickly corrected, with Rathbone and Bruce going on to top-bill 13 famed Holmes movies from 1939-46. The UCLA Film and TV Archive has rescued the films from public domain hell, in a restoration that aims to return them to 35mm theatrical condition using original elements and acetate copies. The results as seen on MPI's DVDs are indeed impressive, with shadows and light elegant and edgy. Wear is within reason, and the audio suffices. Film historians' commentaries have been added to some of the feature films, explaining, for instance, just how the 19th century detectives ended up battling Nazis in WWII. The MPI collection -- whose titles are available separately and in sets -- started rolling out in the fall. The series concludes at the beginning, with "Baskervilles" and "Adventures," both made by Fox before Universal took over and "modernized" the Doyle stories. The Uni films have their moments -- "Woman in Green," for example, is grand and grisly entertainment -- but there's no topping these initial releases, set in Victorian times."Adventures," the second Fox film, immortalized the line "Elementary, my dear Watson" -- catchy, but never from Doyle's pen. The film is based on a play by William Gillette, with two overlapping original but true-to-the-canon mysteries. The movie opens with one of the series' best moments as Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty (George Zucco) exchange pleasantries and mortal threats as they share a carriage ride. Ida Lupino melts hearts in her last ingenue role. Holmes magazine editor Richard Valley does a decent job on the commentary but spends far too much time telling the life stories of all involved, even the bit players. You can just hear Holmes yelling, Get on with it, man!"
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 09/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was rather surprised by how much I enjoyed this adventure of Sherlock Holmes. What I could not get over was how much Basil Rathbone reminded me of Jarod in The Pretender. This is the second of the beloved Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce collaborations.
Being new to the Sherlock Holmes movies, this was my first and I must say it will not be my last. The misty streets, horse drawn carriages and complete atmosphere of this movie makes it a perfect period suspense drama.
In this movie, the diabolical Professor Moriarty has an evil plan to steal the "Star of Delhi" and he tries to distract Holmes in a wicked game of symbolism and deception. He knows how to play with Holmes mind and almost succeeds. Holmes is of course rather nonchalant about the entire affair and would rather protect the beautiful young heiress (Ida Lupino) who is in certain danger and is constantly running to Holmes begging for protection and answers to the mind games Professor Moriarty is also playing with her.
So what does the "Star of Delhi" have to do with the inexplicable strangulation murders besetting the Brandon family? This taxes even the most formidable powers of Sherlock Holmes.
A Collectable Classic. If you enjoy this, you might also enjoy Gaslight, the version with Ingrid Bergman.