Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)

  |  Crime, Mystery


Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931) Poster

A card cheat is threatened with exposure into joining a criminal enterprise that Holmes believes is controlled by Professor Moriarty.


6/10
304

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Director:

Leslie S. Hiscott

Writers:

Arthur Conan Doyle (stories), Cyril Twyford (adaptation)

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2 February 2010 | Michael_Elliott
The Sleeping Cardinal (1931)
Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931)

** (out of 4)

British film was originally released under the title of THE SLEEPING CARDINAL but was renamed in the U.S. to put Holmes in the title. The film has a man shot dead in a bank yet no money was stolen and there appears to be no witnesses, no suspects and no real clues as to what happened. Holmes (Arthur Wontner) and Dr. Watson (Ian Fleming) are soon on the case and it might be Moriarty who has something to do with the killing. Based on the stories "The Empty House" and "The Final Problem", this Holmes effort was considered lost for many decades until a print finally turned up in the U.S. (with the American title) but the end results are pretty disappointing. I think the biggest sin any movie can make is being boring and sadly that's the case here because I really lost interest in the movie around the thirty-minute mark and hard to struggle to make it through to the end. There are some good things here but more on those later. I think the biggest problem is the screenplay that simply has way too much endless dialogue that just keeps going and going and going. It seems each scene could have been wrapped up with a few lines but instead everyone kept talking and sometimes the same things were being said over and over to the point where I really lost interest in what was going on. It also doesn't help that the majority of the actors are speaking very slowly and drawn out. Wontner would play Holmes in five different movies and I must admit that I enjoyed his performance. He gives a "thinking" performance as he takes his time to react to anything said to him and you can see the "thinking" going on with the character. Some might think this goes back to my complaint of things going too slowly but even thinking, Holmes moves faster than anyone else here. I also enjoyed (no not that) Fleming in the role of Watson as he plays it very serious without any humor. The rest of the performances weren't all that interesting to me. In the end, it's always a good thing when a lost film is discovered but as often is the case, the movie in question really doesn't turn out to be anything special.

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Genres

Crime | Mystery

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