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Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night (1946)

Basil Rathbone , Nigel Bruce , Roy William Neill  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night + Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon + Sherlock Holmes - The Woman in Green
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Product Details

  • Actors: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray, Dennis Hoey, Renee Godfrey
  • Directors: Roy William Neill
  • Writers: Arthur Conan Doyle, Frank Gruber
  • Producers: Roy William Neill, Howard Benedict
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000EMYKH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,525 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Terror by Night (1946) hints at a few of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. The action takes place on a speeding steam train racing from London to Edinburgh. Lady Margaret Carstairs possess a 423 karat diamond, known as the 'Star of Rhodesia' and her son employs Holmes to protect the priceless jewel until it reaches its home in Scotland. Lady Margaret's son is found murdered and the 'Star of Rhodesia' has been whisked away. Eccentric and suspicious passengers line the Scotland Express as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) investigate. Along for the ride is an old friend of Watson's, Major Duncan-Bleek (Alan Mowbray), who may or may not be as disinterested a party as he appears.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the Scotland Express March 17, 2004
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
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ticket to mystery June 29, 2004
By C. Ford
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Holmes entry and the BEST copy! January 2, 2008
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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Elementary my dear Watson... this disc is awful April 9, 2003
If you love the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" movies like I do, then DO NOT BUY THIS DISC! The film print quality is very poor and the sound is very muddy. The DVD box falsely states a running time of 60 minutes -- but the running time of film they put on the dvd only runs 53 minutes! Do the math. The 7 minutes they cut out are key scenes!!...and the Index of scene selections doesn't even work. Holmes and Watson deserve better...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Holmes June 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Next to the brilliant Scarlet Claw(undoubtedly the best in the series) this is one of my faves in the series with Rathbone & Bruce. The entire film(with the exception of the very beginning and end) takes place on a speeding train from London to Edinborough. The plot(be sure to watch Rathbone's slight-of-hand!) involves a diamond called the Star of Rhodesia, and there are many strange characters on the train.There is some good comic relief as Dr. Watson conducts an interview with one of the passengers who is addicted to the study of mathematics(like Col. Sebastian Moran--Another Holmes Foe!). If you are a fan of Universal horror, you will recognize that same old stock footage of the train station and scenes of train speeding into the night(used a decade earlier in The Black Cat), and Lestrade is along for this one. I always enjoyed Dennis Hoey as Lestrade.It is interesting in that we do not ever find ourselves at 221 B-Baker Street in this one. I am a confirmed Sidney Toler Charlie Chan addict as well, and be sure to read my reviews on that subject!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Action On A Speeding Train July 6, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Holmes is Holmes
Typical Rathbone, Green fare. The stories are timeless though.
Published 12 days ago by Jon Brunson
2.0 out of 5 stars I am a fan of Basil Rathbone and I dislike it when an entity such as...
I am a fan of Basil Rathbone and I dislike it when an entity such as Amazon allows a less-than-best copy to be presented. This one actually has parts missing. Read more
Published 15 days ago by John R. Willis
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Sherlock Holmes classics needed to finish out my collection.
Published 18 days ago by Richard Millhorn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Like the rest of these 'Who Done It' movies... enjoyable to watch.
Published 22 days ago by Shawn
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to snuff visually
Obviously not a restored version of this venerable classic...murky and dark it is not exactly a delight to see again.
Published 24 days ago by John Devine
4.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes
I have always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) movies. This is a good one because I wasn't expecting this ending. Read more
Published 2 months ago by GoPats
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Holmes
The best Holmes/Watson combination ever - Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce. When I think of Sherlock - it's Basil's face I see - not Robert Downing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock lookin good !
The dvd was so great! I have always liked Sherlock but now that the films have been restored it is a pure delight to see. If you like Sherlock like Ido you will love this.
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful classic film to enjoy!
My husband and I both loved Terror By Night. I have always been a major fan of anything Sherlock Holmes, and this film was very well acted. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Deidre Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars colorized
this is an excellent movie that has been colorized. I really enjoyed the plot and the ending is very good. I wish they would colorize all black&white movies. no cuss words at all. Read more
Published 5 months ago by steve chubb
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