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Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear


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Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear + Sherlock Holmes - The Scarlet Claw + Sherlock Holmes in the Spider Woman
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Product Details

  • Actors: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Aubrey Mather, Dennis Hoey, Paul Cavanagh
  • Directors: Roy William Neill
  • Writers: Arthur Conan Doyle, Roy Chanslor
  • Producers: Roy William Neill
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, 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: November 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000APVC3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,076 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The master detective Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his faithful cohort Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are back, preserved and digitally restored in 35mm to original condition by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. This newly restored version of the classic film includes the period war bond tag and studio logo and credits from its original theatrical release. Filled with ominous shadows and interesting camera angles, the visual beauty of the film in 35mm is stunning. The Good Comrades are a collection of varied gentleman who crave one thing - solitude. They reside at Drearcliff House, ancestral home of their eldest member. All seems serene and convivial until one by one the members begin to perish in the most grisly of manners. Foul play is suspected by the Good Comrades' insurance agent, who turns to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson for guidance. When Holmes is told that the deaths are preceded by a message in the form of orange pips sealed in an envelope, delivered to the next victim at dinner, and that the Good Comrades' insurance policies are all to be paid to the surviving member, the famed detective is convinced that there is murder afoot. Holmes and Watson are off to Scotland to try and solve the mystery.

Amazon.com

Here is another strong entry (beautifully restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive) from the peak of Basil Rathbone's prolific, seven-year run as a definitive Sherlock Holmes for the big screen. The House of Fear (1945), adapted from "The Five Orange Pips," is a chamber mystery concerning successive murders of the members of an elite club, the Good Comrades. On film, the tale seems a bit ludicrous, but its conclusion is among the most startling in the Rathbone films. There's also a fair amount of comedy between Watson (Nigel Bruce) and Inspector Lestrade's (Dennis Hoey) bumbling ways. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

I'd have to rate this as one of the best of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films.
Craig Connell
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.
J. Michael Click
Meeting there is a group of men who have entered into life insurance policies naming the others as their beneficiaries.
Darren Harrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Fairbanks VINE VOICE on January 6, 2004
Format: DVD
"The House of Fear" is a hugely enjoyable Sherlock Holmes film, perhaps the last truly satisying entry in the 12 film Universal series (of which this is number 8, not counting the two unrelated films made by 20th Century Fox).
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?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Click on March 23, 2005
Format: DVD
Movie: ***** _____ DVD Quality: ****1/2 _____ DVD Extras: N/A

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arty Abrams on September 17, 2003
Format: DVD
This selection is one of the Best of the 14 Rathbone and Bruce made. I've seen it countless times and I enjoy it every time. Wonderful feel to the film that will never be duplicated!!!!!
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 ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Boz on December 4, 2005
Format: DVD
This is one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes films. It features a gloomy old Scottish castle, a puzzling series of murders, a long list of suspects, and lots of thunder and lightning. It also has Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. What more could you ask for-a perfect movie to watch on a dark and stormy night!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Von Pein on July 31, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
1945's "The House Of Fear" is the 10th (of 14) Sherlock Holmes mysteries starring the inimitable duo of Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. John H. Watson.
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.
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