Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

On the first disk of Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection (not sure why it's second though as it was the third to be made) along with The Hound of the Baskervilles, this is set during the war, with the "Voice of Terror" coming on British wirelesses telling the British public about great triumphs of the Nazis as they were happening, or just about to. At their wits end, the the Defence Council call in Baker Street's most famous detective to help.

Basil Rathbone is fine throughout, already familiar with his portrayal of a supremely confident, slightly diffident and conceited Holmes; Nigel Bruce continues to play Watson as a rather bumbling fool with moments of enlightenment (I'm sure it was the scriptwriters' idea not his!). It's an okay plot, never really builds into much and some of the twists were a bit too easy to see coming. The final patriotic speech and indeed the whole patriotic tone of the movie rather spoilt it, though considering the time it was released I guess that was inevitable. The Voice of Terror was not a great day our for Holmes and Watson, I'm afraid - but the next one in the Definitive Collection is significantly better.


See also: Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection review



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