Thursday, 14 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

Another Sherlock Holmes film from set directed by Ron William Neill, this one certainly has its weaknesses (Dennis Hoey's Lestrade is particularly awful), but the plot is genuinely intriguing. Even with a few rather obvious red herrings, it will keep you guessing until the end.

The plot involves an ancient family ritual at Musgrave Manor, where Watson has been acting as Chief Medical Officer when the home is used as a centre for convalescence. When a near-murder happens, followed by an actual murder, Watson calls on his old friend Sherlock Holmes. Watson's reasoning is that all the chaps there are good fellows and couldn't possibly be guilty of anything, but they are a bit... strange, due to their wartime experiences. Lestrade of course jumps right in with accusations and upsets everyone, which is what Scotland Yard do.

There's are a host of interesting and surreal characters, and a few funny moments, but it's the weird and wonderful plot that keeps the viewer's interest. Despite some obvious flaws, this is one of the most enjoyable films so far in The Sherlock Holmes Definitive Collection.



See also: Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection review

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