The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
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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 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 Brandons 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 criminals 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best Holmes movie with Rathbone. I have had this on VHS for years before released on dvd so I can't review the quality of the dvd
but the movie is excellent and Ida Lapino... Read more
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1939 film
In May 1894 Sherlock Holmes tells of his targeting of Professor Moriarity. The jury found him ‘not guilty’. Read more
This was my first film and it was wonderful. I urge everyone to get these old films on Sherlock Holmes, they are wonderful. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Anita Baalman
To me, Basil is the ONLY Sherlock. He plays the role fantastically and so does his side kick. You can actually believe it IS Sherlock! Good mysteries, too. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tag68
The disc was in great condition and I really enjoyed the movie.Published 9 months ago by Terri Lee Phillips