Sherlock Holmes - Terror by Night (Colorized / Black and White)
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Lady Carstairs is taking the train from London to Edinburgh with The Star of Rhodesia. Holmes and Watson are hired to protect it from master jewel thief Colonel Moran, who also happens to be a master of disguise. To make things more intriguing, Lady Carstairs son, Roland, is murdered on the train. This is probably one of the more typical plots but is set entirely on a train.
The transfer quality is fairly poor but not awful. These are the kind of films that are not usually subject to restoration and the deteriorated status is that of wear and age. I have seen a new collection but they are quite expensive. So if you just want to have a copy of the films just to enjoy these mysteries, these are fine.
Of course, for most Basil was Sherlock Holmes, this was probably the first films that he had a chance to a role that he could use his substantial talent. Before these, he was usually the bad guy or a minor supporting player. He was an accomplished swordsman and the joke was he constantly had to lose to actors that he could beat blindfolded. So Basil made these quickie films much more depth than they would otherwise have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, I gave this one five stars. Basil Rathbone, and a train full of suspects! It doesn't get any better than this.Published 12 days ago by DLL
Have seen this many times and enjoy the cleverness of Conan Doyle's detective.Published 2 months ago by Eileen
I've always been a big Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce fan. This movie did not disappoint.Published 2 months ago by Mark Singleton
All of the Rathbone/Bruce Holmes movies are great fun to watch and this one is no exception. Lestrade is bumbling and Watson is inept, as usual, thanks to the excellent script and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steve Brown
Good Sherlock Holmes short movie. Train fans will get tired of compartment doors. JMZPublished 3 months ago by Jan Zweerts
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