Sherlock Holmes:Terror By Nigh
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Sherlock H Terror By
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The film shows an expensive diamond 'The Star of Rhodesia'. All who possessed it came to a sudden and violent death. A new coffin will be used to send a body to Scotland. They show scenes of Euston Station in London. Sherlock Holmes studies the faces of passengers. Lady Margaret Carstairs will travel to Scotland with her valuable jewel. Can it be safe from thieves? Watson is late for the train. Holmes inspects this 423-carat diamond. [Did you see anything?] Roland Carstairs does not join his mother in the dining car. The 'Star of Rhodesia' is gone! We see the other passengers in the carriage. One of them must be the murderer. Dr. Watson asks some questions. [Comic relief.] A tempest in a teapot? Someone attacks Holmes in the dark! Later he and Dr. Watson check the baggage compartment and learn a secret.
They question the young lady to learn about her actions. They find the baggage guard on the floor. We learn who are the guilty villains. Will there be more treachery? Can the murderer escape at the border stop? The Scottish police take charge to question the passengers. Inspector McDonald recognizes Colonel Moran, he is arrested after a struggle and taken off the train. But Sherlock Holmes isn't fooled at all! [Did you suspect this?] The gang is caught in spit of their clever plans. Sherlock Holmes explains it all.
Since Professor Moriarity was killed, and Colonel Moran was arrested for murder, what will Sherlock Holmes do next?
There are a number of real characters onboard the train, each one of them suspicious in some way or other. There's a rather impertinent young lady accompanying her mother's coffin, a most disagreeable professor, an older couple concerned about the police presence around them, Watson's old friend Major Duncan-Bleek, as well as several train employees. The fact that we the viewers are kept unaware of the culprit's identity until the end is a definite plus - as is the fact that the guilty party turns out to be a jewel thief of much renown. There's as much light comedy as there is drama until the endgame is set in motion, and the ending offers a surprise or two that rescues the film from the realm of the merely average. Terror By Night is not the best of the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, but it's certainly an entertaining, reasonably compelling entry in the series.
The action in this film is similar to The Lady Vanishes or Murder on the Orient Express. Sherlock is hired to guard a valuable diamond. Of course someone is murdered on the train and he must solve the crime.
Watching this film feels, in a sense, like coming home. Sherlock is THE iconic detective and when he's around, you never worry too much because you are sure no one is going to get the better of him. He is a direct precursor to James Bond, except with more emphasis on intelligence. In many ways it is more entertaining to watch these old films than more modern entertainments. Here you know the acting is going to be good and the dialogue snappy. The film moves along at a brisk pace - in fact, it is so short it wouldn't even be considered a feature by today's standards. Nigel Bruce's Watson may not be as Arthur Conan Doyle imagined him, but it makes sense in the film series: one needs a comic counterpoint to Holmes' dry wit.
However old these films get, I find them very enjoyable.
The DVD itself is bare necessity, but the picture is good enough and the cost is very inexpensive.
Most recent customer reviews
This is not the best of the Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce pairings but nonetheless this is an enjoyable outing. Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by C. Ford
The 11th film in Universal's series of Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective and Nigel Bruce as his faithful companion, Dr. Watson. Read morePublished on March 17 2004 by Brian W. Fairbanks
If you are a fan of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes then this DVD will complete your collection of this actor's works. The picture quality of the film is far better than the VHS. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2003 by Rebekah Foerman
If you love the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" movies like I do, then DO NOT BUY THIS DISC! The film print quality is very poor and the sound is very muddy. Read morePublished on April 9 2003 by Headcrabhunter
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