Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
This is a good old fashioned haunted house mystery, the perfect companion for a dark, stormy night. There's nothing supernatural going on, only the all too mundane matter of murder, motivated by greed. There's nothing mundane about the way Holmes and Watson go about solving it though, and director Roy William Neill guides them with his usual brilliance, magically creating an ambiance of suspicion, fear, and mystery in gorgeous black-and-white. The plot resembles Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," the first film version of which was in production when "The House of Fear" was in release, (and the Holmes entry was probably an attempt to steal that film's thunder) but this film is actually superior. After all, it has Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. How can you beat that?
A moody, atmospheric entry in the classic Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes series, featuring a corking good mystery with an intriguing "whodunit?" angle. In an old and lavish Scottish mansion, the seven bachelor members of a private club are being brutally maimed and murdered one by one; interestingly, each victim receives an envelope containing orange seeds just before his turn to die. What can it mean? It's up to Holmes and Dr. Watson, with the fumbling assistance of Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade, to unravel the complicated plot. Rathbone and Bruce are in typically fine form as the master sleuth and his faithful foil, and the supporting cast includes wonderfully deft work by Aubrey Mather and Paul Cavanagh as two of the endangered gents. On the distaff side, Sally Shepherd turns in an intriguing performance as a dour housekeeper; and veteran leading actress turned character player Doris Lloyd, always a welcome presence in any film, has a meaty unbilled supporting role as the proprietess of a local tavern. In addition to a fine plot and stellar performances, "The House of Fear" also benefits from outstanding art direction and set decorations, all of which are beautifully captured by Virgil Miller's noirish cinematography.
The MPI video release features a generally excellent video and audio transfer from a 35mm print digitally restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. A couple of early scenes appear overly grainy, but the rest of the transfer is sharp and clear with pleasing contrast (and especially nice graytones in a couple of key outdoor sequences). The soundtrack is remarkably crisp and clean throughout. Overall, highly recommended, and an absolute must-see for Holmes completists.
I am writing this pre-review to express my Great Expectations and excitement over the upcoming DVD release of the 14 Sherlock Holmes movies made by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
For those of us who have loved and worn out our VHS versions of these films, I am sure that I speak for many of us in expressing incredible anticipation and near shock that someone has finally recognized the need to release a "restored version" of these timeless classics.
We are told that they have been "Preserved and restored in 35mm by the UCLA Film and Television Archive." This is marvelous and I have already pre-ordered Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 from MPI Home Video.
I so hope that the entire 14 movies, are ultimately released in restored condition. Especially the rarest of them, "The Scarlet Claw" which has rarely been shown on televison and only been available on VHS sporadically.
To me and many others I know, Basil Rathbone is the definative Holmes. Not just because he looks alarmingly similar -as much as is humanly possible- to Sidney Pagets drawings of Holmes from the Strand Magazine illustrations, but mostly we love Rathbone because he portrayed the same Holmes that we as readers get through the buffer of Dr. Watson explaining away not magnifying Holmes' shortcomings.
Jeremy Brett chose to amplify every negative aspect of Holmes' personality that in the written versions Watson explained away.Read more ›
This old-dark-house adventure features Holmes & Watson investigating the mysterious deaths of several members of "The Good Comrades Club".
Despite some obvious plot holes (such as the unusually high number of old geezers who would have to be dropping dead right and left in this small hamlet town in order for enough corpses to be available for the perpetrators' use) this is one of my favorite Rathbone Sherlock entries. But, to be completely fair to the plotters of this story's crime, perhaps (unlike Watson's interpretation of the events) these body snatchers were going out of town to dig up a few.
Another fun Holmes outing. Recommended highly, along with all of the other 13 Basil/Nigel teamings.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the Finest Basil Rathbone - Nigel Bruce collaborations in the classic Sherlock Holmes - Dr Watson pairing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Andrew P. Kluka
This installment in the Sherlock Holmes series that starred Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce is a very enjoyable one. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mike Ambrosio
The House of Fear, 1945 film
It begins on the west coast of Scotland at the house called “Drearcliff”. The “Good Comrades Club” have a dinner. Read more
Going to tell you the same thing for every Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" movie I purchased! They're all GREAT! Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by R. Mauler
Great Picture and audio - I purchase for my father and just love it!! If you have a Sherlock father fan this is a must buy!!!Published on November 9, 2013 by kwi24
My family really enjoys the old Sherlock Holmes black and white movies and Basil Rathbone is our favorite Holmes actor.Published on January 19, 2013 by Laurel A. Suttles
Universal made a series of Holmes with the dream cast of Rathbone and Bruce. They range in quality from awesome to yech! Read morePublished on October 1, 2012 by E. M. Wolf