Pursuit to Algiers (1945) begins as Holmes and Watson learn that the King of a Ravenia has been assassinated and his son Nikolas is now a marked man. The great detective and his comrade are pressed into service to prote... more »ct the life of the soon-to- be crowned monarch. The detective and the good doctor take to the sea in order to safeguard the young heir on his journey from London back to his homeland and throne. The soon-to-be king poses as Dr. Watson's nephew while a number of the SS Friesland's passengers appear eccentric, suspicious and downright sinister. The ship makes an unexpected stop in Lisbon and Holmes is presented with yet three more mysterious passengers.« less
"This is one of twelve movies of Rathbone as Holmes put out during the war and shortly thereafter by Universal. All twelve stories are newly written and not contained in the originally published series. Holmes is played in the traditional was as a talented person who is always willing to help others while interjecting some humor in the process. This Holmes is very humble and does not suffer from the mental illness of egomania. This is in stark contrast to the Brett version where Holmes displayed arrogance and airs of secret knowledge which is almost exclusively done in real life by people who are marginal performers. This particular story plot is somewhat less imaginative and realistic compared to the other eleven, but it is still entertaining to watch.The digital remastering makes the quality like a recently made movie without any visual or audio flaws."
An oddity - but not an unpleasant one
Sarah Hadley | Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Were it not for "Sherlock Holmes in Washington," "Pursuit to Algiers" would no doubt be considered the very strangest of the Universal Holmes series. The initial mystery at the start of the film is completely obliterated by a plot that is little more than a thriller set on a cruise liner. Ever seen Sherlock Holmes play bodyguard for a foreign dignitary? No? How about his clever defeat of not one, not two, but three expert assassins? Never seen that, either? Well, now's your chance!
In all fairness, it's not that bad - it just doesn't feel like a Sherlock Holmes story. For better or worse, with this film the Universal series is heading into its final decline, and the writers have abandoned all hope of making the films so much as resemble a real Conan Doyle story. As a result, they're resorting to things like cruise liners to liven up what's becoming a somewhat flat formula. It's not a bad idea, but unfortunately, it does away with most of the fog-and-darkness mystique that everyone loves about Sherlock Holmes.
Basil Rathbone himself is, by now, starting to seem very tired. For most of the plot, he stays rooted in a sort of bored, dour mode, only occasionally shifted by a moment such as his (unusually amused) appraisal of Watson's choice in women. Nigel Bruce, on the other hand, is having a ball. Thankfully, he's less embarassingly inept than in the previous film, "The Woman in Green," and more bizarre still, he's actually the focus for much of this picture. Watson is genuinely concerned for Holmes early on, grieves for him when he's believed dead, has a couple of nice comic moments, and - best of all - gets to sing "Loch Lomond." (I'm fairly sure that's Nigel Bruce's actual singing voice, too. Great timbre.) All in all, it's probably Bruce's best outing since "The Scarlet Claw."
There may not be much mystery here, but the thriller aspect is not done poorly; there are some very fun scenes of Holmes matching wits and banter with the villains. There's also a real surprise at the end - a shocker for one of these Holmes pictures, actually - that helps to raise the film up from the rather lacklustre story.
This picture has, with its eleven fellow films, been painstakingly restored by the UCLA Film and TV Archive for the DVD release. It has a few quality problems, and is singled out for that in the "Sherlock Holmes Collection: Volume Two" restoration featurette, but most of the trouble comes at the very beginning and (quite abrupt) ending of the film. For the majority of its length, it looks fine, albeit with the occasional flicker, and I found it far less distracting than the variable picture on "The House of Fear."
All told, this is a fun and watchable entry in the Universal Holmes series, but not one of the essentials. If you're going to buy it for completeness' sake, go with MPI's "Sherlock Holmes Collection: Volume Three" set; otherwise, casual fans should stick with a rental."
The 10th film in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 03/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Pursuit to Algiers," the tenth film in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series, is fairly routine overall, but it does have a novel twist in that it sends the Great Detective and Dr. Watson off to sea.In some ways, its plot is similar to the next film, "Terror by Night," in that Holmes is once again renting out his services as a bodyguard of sorts, this time protecting the son of the assassinated King of Ravenia as he sails home to claim his throne. The future monarch is disguised as Watson's nephew! Aside from Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, what gives this entry its kick are the other passengers, the most eccentric and suspicious bunch ever booked onto a voyage.Coming at the tail-end of a series whose finest moments were now behind it, "Pursuit to Algiers" is far from the best, but possessing enough suspense and atmosphere to recommend it.Brian W. Fairbanks"
Very good movie
Lisa Bard | Virginia | 08/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good movie. Just got it in the mail the other day, and my son and I loved it. Basil Rathbone was wonderful in his role as Sherlock Holmes. I'm glad we ordered it."
Pursuit to Algiers
B. Groke | 08/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another entertaining Sherlock Holmes movie. Rathbone and Bruce are by far and away the best Holmes and Watson there is. Thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it completed the series for me."