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Showing 1-10 of 57 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 63 reviews
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 10, 2015
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.

Audio: The only audio track is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. It is clear sounding and I have no complaints.

Subtitles: English

Extras:
* Audio commentary by David Stuart Davies on Sherlock Holmes Faces Death.
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on July 14, 2017
Oh Basil, you fiend! The 1940's settings do not really work for Sherlock. He is a Victorian Man, set in a Victorian world. To move him up by more than a few hundred years proved to be a really dumb (film) move. However, the Defeat the Nazi's mentality, using Sherlock H. and Dr. Watson, ONLY work as well as they do, because of the supreme elegance of "Basil Rathbone". Even in the 1940's, Basil is still ultra-educated, eloquent, charming, well dressed, stylish, cute and adorable, charming, witty, a dear friend to Dr. Watson, with that lovely profile, sharp as ever. He is sharply dressed, curt, short and quick. Basil, still plays his role, bouncing off the other characters, as usual, funny, slick and sharp witted. Basil, is as ever elegantly outfitted, and crisp. Basil's dealings with the locals are the very same as in the Victorian era. Even in the 1940's, his treatment of the ugly criminal mastermind, is chilling and snappy. The film "Kiss of the Spider Woman", is extremely good. The Spider Woman herself, is beautifully coiffed, draped in minks, foxes, feathers, (not that I am a fan of dead animal, drapings), but the costumes are appropriate for the times, very fashion forward! The Spider Woman's jewels, and handbags are luscious! She wields her own accessories and her very WEIRD little nephew "Larry", with great aplomb.The actual actress, delivers a bone chilling, performance!!! even today! She is the perfect foil to Sherlock's (Basil's) humanity, kindness and devotion to honesty. Spider Woman, is the most heinous of all the female criminals in the Basil Rathbone based Sherlock Holmes series, in my opinion. The villainess, Mrs. Courtney, seems like a bundle of sweetness and light, when compared to the cold, calculated evilness of the Spider Woman's atrocities. Basil, has his hands full with both woman, but when it comes to hard core EVIL, the Spider Woman, gives me the creeps, so many years after the original films, Very scary, very sincere and earnest in her nastiness! These films hold their own even in 2017! at least for me.
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on May 27, 2014
SHERLOCK HOLMES FACES DEATH is lots of fun. Loosely based on "The Musgrave Ritual" it has several rather gruesome murders and a bizarre rhyme with a hidden message. Rathbone and Bruce are at their best and the support is good, especially Hillary Brooke. ("Gunsmoke" fans this is the one with Milburn Stone). IN WASHINGTON isn't as good, with Holmes having a bad hair day chasing a matchbook folder that seems to have an inexhaustible supply of matches. This one has both George Zucco and Henry Daniell as the villains. Both films are enjoyable though FACES DEATH is the far superior effort.
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on February 24, 2014
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are my favourite Holmes and Dr. Watson. I found the 2 stories a bit draggy at times, but I liked Sherlock Holmes in Washington the best. I liked seeing the old fashioned cars and styles of the day in Washington. The other movie Sherlock Holmes Faces Death was good too. I enjoy all their movies. There are several movies in the same series listed on amazon.com with two movies in one package. I bought Sherlock Holmes in Washington/Sherlock Holmes Faces death combination. two good movies for a good price. At first the listing on Amazon.com said the movies were in color and did not mention subtitles, But the copy I got is in black and white and has English subtitles for hard of hearing. Hard of hearing is important to me. The listing has been changed to black and white movie and subtitles. Very good quality black and white transfer.
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on September 14, 2013
I have bought all these Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes double features available on Amazon. I previously have brought other versions that were supposedly restored but they were poor quality. The quality on this is probably as good as you can expect and I am very happy with this and all the other double features I have purchased with MPI as the production company. I only wonder when Terror by Night and the Woman in Green will be available on double feature DVD by MPI. I wouldn't trust any other production company now since I have been burned before. Any true Holmes fan will be very happy with all these double features by MPI.
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on July 7, 2013
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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on May 9, 2017
Love these two films the best of the sherlock movies, and I have seen them all. Package arrived in great condition.
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on August 4, 2017
Two of the best Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies.
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on June 12, 2016
Marvelous film restoration by UCLA, looks beautiful in black & white. The sound is great and there are subtitles in English and French. Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes stands the test of time.
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on February 12, 2015
This is it! The Musgrave Ritual in Sherlock Holmes Faces Death. Rewritten for the movie, this Musgrave Ritual is a chess board with chess moves.
I love the Tavern the Rat and Crow, the little town , the World War 2 veterans staying at Musgrave Manor are unique and add to the fun.
I prefer this Ritual over the book. Is kinder.
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