Sherlock Holmes:Terror By Nigh
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Sherlock H Terror By
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
With only one more film to go following this 1946 release, it's not surprising that there's little fresh about this entry, but it hardly matters. The draw is still Rathbone and Bruce, as well as Dennis Hoey's Inspector LeStrade, all of whom deliver typically energetic performances.
The setting is novel, though, with Holmes and Watson aboard a train bound from London to Edinburgh, acting as bodyguards for the "Star of Rhodesia," a precious jewel whose owner is murdered.
Of course, a train is the perfect setting for a mystery, but as "Murder on the Orient Express" would prove twenty-eight years later, the claustrophobic atmosphere severely limits the action. But with a brisk running time of only 60 minutes, "Terror by Night" never threatens to bore.
Brian W. Fairbanks
Most recent customer reviews
Terror By Night, 1946 film
The film shows an expensive diamond 'The Star of Rhodesia'. All who possessed it came to a sudden and violent death. Read more
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
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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