Sherlock Holmes Double Feature: Sherlock Holmes Faces Death and Sherlock Holmes in Washington
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SHERLOCK HOLMES FACES DEATH (1943) is an intriguing mystery based upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle s The Musgrave Ritual. Dr. Watson, tending recuperating soldiers housed at centuries-old Musgrave Manor, summons Sherlock Holmes to investigate strange happenings. What follows is a bizarre series of events, including murders, secret passages, a game of chess and a mysterious family ritual. Even Inspector Lestrade is on hand, as well as lovely Hillary Brooke as Sally Musgrave. But only Sherlock Holmes, in a race against time and a desperate killer, can decipher the ancient riddle and uncover the treasure it hides.
Sherlock Holmes in Washington
A British secret service operative, carrying top-secret microfilm from England to Washington, disappears while traveling to his destination. Fearing for his safety just before his disappearance, he passes the microfilm, ingeniously hidden, to another passenger on the train without her knowing. The agent is reported missing and Sherlock Holmes is called in to investigate.
Top Customer Reviews
In "Faces Death" (when doesn't he?) they take the names from the real Holmes short story, "the Musgrave Ritual" but the similarities end there. It's 1943 and Watson is serving as the medical officer in a hospital, really an old mansion, a crumbling, spooky edifice, for shell shocked soldiers. When one of the doctors is attacked one night Watson asks his friend to investigate and as bodies start to pile up in this classic who done it, the game is afoot!
"In Washington" is more of an adventure film. When a British courier disappears with an important document Holmes is charged with tracking it down. The man was last seen in a train compartment and as people who had been on that train start to get attacked it becomes obvious the courier passed the documents to someone on the train and a race is on to see if Holmes can get to the right person first.
As an interesting aside to this film it is copywrited in 1942, After the US had entered the war but it just refers to `an enemy' not Germany outright, it was probably written before pearl Harbor and was meant to drum up American support for the war. also of interest is a steward on the train Holmes talks to; a black man who proudly tells Holmes his son is in the army and going to be a pilot. We wouldn't think anything of this in 2014 but in 1942?Read more ›
Basil Rathbone portrayed Sherlock Holmes in fourteen films from 1939 to 1946 and to many his iconic characterization of the Baker Street detective remains the best and is certainly the role Rathbone is best remembered for. I also want to give a shout out to Nigel Bruce's rather unorthodox but excellent portrayal of Dr. Watson. In the novels, Dr Watson was nearly as intelligent as Holmes and a capable assistant but in these films, Nigel Bruce's Watson acts buffoonish and seems to get more buffoonish with each film. Despite or perhaps because of his controversial stooging, Nigel Bruce was the perfect foil to Basil Rathbone. They played off each other wonderfully and truly are a dynamic duo.
Speaking of dynamic duos, MPI Home Video has released digitally restored double feature sets for all but four (Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, The Woman in Green, Terror by Night, and Dressed to Kill) of Rathbone's fourteen films. I find it odd MPI didn't choose to pair the films together in chronological order but that gripe aside this set features the pairing of Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) and Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943). Sherlock Holmes Faces Death is one of my top ten favorite Sherlock Holmes films. Sherlock Holmes battles Nazis again in Sherlock Holmes in Washington. It is non-essential but enjoyable.
Video: Both movies are presented in a solid 1:37 full frame transfer. Even though both films are together on one single-sided dual layered dvd the image looks fine. The films are in black and white and overall look relatively clean for their age. I think UCLA really did a commendable job of restoring the films.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have 3 other double sherlock holmes dvds, i looked for this a long time, it was great quality as the others were. Still looking for the last 4 movies. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael H. Lagor
This is one of the later Rathbone & Bruce pairings. Sherlock has time traveled into the early 1940's but the mystery and magic of Holmes is still as gripping as always.Published 8 months ago by Gary Jenkins
I've had the VHS copies of these for years, and wanted the DVD copies just in case, and still great.Published 11 months ago by Kat