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Sherlock Holmes Double Feature: Sherlock Holmes Faces Death and Sherlock Holmes in Washington

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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(Sep 14, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
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.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003UAKECG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,810 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Graves VINE VOICE on September 15, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed more time on stage, screen and TV than any other fictional character and in all that vast sea of Holmes, Basil Rathbone is the bar against which all others are measured. Cummerbatch, Brett, Cushing, Cook, Caine and all the rest cannot be viewed without comparing them to Rathbone-quieter than, more emotional than, crazier than, etc. he is the standard and here we have two examples.

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?
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This was a wonderful purchase. I am addicted to the Sherlock Holmes series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Thank heaven there are people who work to restore these classics and make them available on DVD. This was an exciting purchase, because I thought I had seen all the Rathbone movies, but these two were new to me! "Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" became an instant favorite, which I watched three times the first day. Keep bringing the classics on, please! A+ to this purchase.
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It's nice that the Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes films are being remastered. These old films are good of their kind, but they were not in the best of shape. 'Sherlock Holmes Faces Death' is the better of the two films (it's based loosely on the story 'The Musgrave Ritual'). Any of the Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce are worth watching. Although low budget (except the two made at Fox) they were well made & the acting can't be beat. The added commentary is also a plus. A must for the Sherlock Holmes fan.
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Before Robert Downey Jr / Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch / Martin Freeman, there was Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

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.
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Everyone has a opinion about whose the best Holmes and Watson team. Because they are clear and also understand what they are saying. The timing for each team to appear on screen is key. I have watched each teams of Holmes and Watson and by far my opinion is these two. I have all their Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson team of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce is my best team.
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These MPI double feature editions do these Universal Pictures Sherlock Holmes classics proud! (A couple are 20th Century Fox). There are a "fabulous 14" Rathbone and Bruce "Holmes/Watson" films...every one awesome.Among my very favorite all-time movies. "Sherlock Holmes In Washington" included here is one of the best! George Zucco and Henry Daniell are incredible co-stars. (Ironically, both play Moriarty in various Rathbone as Holmes vehicles.).All of the support players are so great throughout the series, each one worth the price of admission.These MPI twin spin remasters are fabulous. Excellent picture and sound. I own several and each is a winner. The entire series is available in a box set and a bluray box set as well. These are probably of great quality too. I just happened to nibble through the collection....a twin pack at a time. The price (if one gets the two-packs on sale) comes out about the same. ALL of the double features I've purchased rate 5 stars....buy without hesitation...and get the popcorn ready! In closing...here's a bit of trivia: Basil Rathbone actually was older than Nigel Bruce. I'd never have guessed. :)
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