"This is not the best of the Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce pairings but nonetheless this is an enjoyable outing.
Terror by Night is one of those I put on late at night to watch curled up on the sofa with a cat by my side. The rhythm of the train and the steadfast bond between Holmes, Watson and Lestrade creates one of the most relaxing murder mysteries ever put on film. The deliberate pace may not please all, but to those with a taste for it this is the mystery equivalent of a good house wine."
Murder on the Scotland Express
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 03/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 11th film in Universal's series of Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective and Nigel Bruce as his faithful companion, Dr. Watson.With only one more film to go following this 1946 release, it's not surprising that there's little fresh about this entry, but it hardly matters. The draw is still Rathbone and Bruce, as well as Dennis Hoey's Inspector LeStrade, all of whom deliver typically energetic performances. The setting is novel, though, with Holmes and Watson aboard a train bound from London to Edinburgh, acting as bodyguards for the "Star of Rhodesia," a precious jewel whose owner is murdered. Of course, a train is the perfect setting for a mystery, but as "Murder on the Orient Express" would prove twenty-eight years later, the claustrophobic atmosphere severely limits the action. But with a brisk running time of only 60 minutes, "Terror by Night" never threatens to bore.Brian W. Fairbanks"
carl womack | north carolina | 09/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What makes this a masterpiece "who done it" is that everyone acts suspicious. Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to guard the Star of Rhodesia, a magnificent diamond being transported from London to Edinburgh. Holmes replaces the diamond with a fake that ends up being stolen and Carstairs is murdered. Now, the question is who stole the fake one and killed Carstairs. But Carstairs is not the only one to get murdered. There WILL be others, and for some of you who are trying to figure out who the fiend is, you might just be surprised when the very one you thought done the killing, ends up being killed themselves. Black and White with no curse words or sexual situations and no bloody gore. Just a superb plot with a fairly good directed movie. I say fairly good because the way the train was shown speeding down the track was obviously done by fast forwarding the film. If a real train was to cut a corner like that one did in the movie, it'd flip off the track. But overall this is a movie worth watching, with great action and suspense(one scene in particular that comes to mind is where Holmes fights desperately to keep from being literally thrown off the train), also, there is drama, intrique, and horror. This is one you can enjoy watching alone to figure out who done it, or share with a friend, family members, or mate. Get something to eat, preferably buttered popcorn and a Coke (or as I like to eat, Banner chocolate covered almonds and a Coke), turn out the lights, and by all means, make sure you put your sofa or chair against the wall as you enjoy this entertaining film. If you like a good mystery, you'll want to order this one."
Great Holmes entry and the BEST copy!
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 01/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, I want to advise potential purchasers that THIS is the copy of this title that you want. The product information above is NOT correct -- this is the high-quality MPI BLACK AND WHITE original version! It's a nice clear print professionally digitized from 35 mm film and all the others are notably inferior in quality.
Some other reviewers have cut and pasted incorrect information from other sources as well, saying that this one is "colorized," or color... it's not, so be aware of this. Also, the copies that you'll sometimes find at the local dollar store for a buck are worth just about what you pay for them.
As to the story, here we have a black and white Holmes/Watson (Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce) vehicle that is one of the best of the Rathbone/Bruce series. I can watch this film over and over without burning out on it.
Holmes is hired by a nobleman to protect his mother's, Lady Carstairs', "Star of Rhodesia" diamond, a valuable gem with a death-curse on it, for the duration of an overnight train excursion from London to Edinburgh. Moriarty is suspected of having already made one attempt to steal it and Holmes is sure that he'll try again on the train trip. Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) is also along, officially representing Scotland Yard but dressed in mufti and he's hot-and-cold on Holmes' presence. And plenty of swarthy characters, all acting furtively, are present on board the train.
Sure enough, not only is the bauble stolen but murder (more than one!) is committed as well. It's up to Holmes and Watson to help Inspector Lestrade solve the murders and recover Lady Carstairs' diamond.
Of all the Rathbone/Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films, this one has the cleanest plot and the best script. Clearly, it's justifiably claimed as the big favorite by many Holmes movie purists. It's certainly one of my top three. The set is outstanding and the camera work is super.
If you don't happen to get this exact copy of the movie, at least be aware of "colorized" versions -- they're just awful. I like some colorized films okay but the Rathbone/Bruce series did not benefit by this process of adding garish pastels.
I would recommend this fine murder mystery film to anyone who is a fan of black and white movies."
Action On A Speeding Train
James L. | 07/07/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen very few of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I did enjoy this short film. Holmes and Watson have been hired to guard a famous jewel called the Star of Rhodesia, a diamond that has caused no end of problems for its many previous owners. Most of the film takes place aboard a speeding train bound for Scotland, a scenario ripe with possibilities, due to the confined space and lack of possible escape. Various characters are aboard, opening up many chances for robbery, and as it turns out, murder as well. Rathbone and Bruce are of course classics in this genre, and after so many turns as these characters, there performances seem effortless. The supporting cast is fine as well, and there is enough action to more than keep the viewer's attentions. It's obvious not much money was spent on the film, and the absence of music at key events is felt, but this mystery remains entertaining nonetheless."