A Study in Scarlet (1933)

Passed   |    |  Mystery, Thriller


A Study in Scarlet (1933) Poster

In London, a secret society led by lawyer Thaddeus Merrydew collects the assets of any of its deceased members and divides them among the remaining members. Society members start dropping ... See full summary »


5.7/10
716

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  • Doris Lloyd and Reginald Owen in A Study in Scarlet (1933)
  • Warburton Gamble in A Study in Scarlet (1933)
  • Warburton Gamble and Reginald Owen in A Study in Scarlet (1933)
  • Warburton Gamble and Reginald Owen in A Study in Scarlet (1933)
  • Warburton Gamble and Reginald Owen in A Study in Scarlet (1933)
  • Doris Lloyd and Reginald Owen in A Study in Scarlet (1933)

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11 April 2005 | Snow Leopard
Good for Its Era & Genre (Has No Real Similarity With the Story of the Same Name)
This early sound-era portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is good for its era and genre, with solid acting and an interesting story that is set in a believably mysterious atmosphere. An important note is that the story has no real similarity with the Arthur Conan Doyle story titled "A Study in Scarlet", but rather draws its characters and material from several different stories, plus at least one Agatha Christie novel. As long as you don't expect to see the original story, there is certainly enough to make this a feature worth seeing.

Reginald Owen is solid as Holmes, although he does not leave his mark on the role in the way that Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett did. Owen does have the unique distinction of having played both Holmes and Dr. Watson (having played the latter in "Sherlock Holmes" the year before "A Study in Scarlet").

The rest of the cast likewise play their characters in a straightforward fashion, allowing the story and atmosphere to get the main focus. The one who does stand out is Anna May Wong, who adds beauty and a mysterious presence, although unfortunately she does not get a lot of screen time.

The story itself has numerous turns, and keeps you guessing. The atmosphere might not always be Holmes-like, but it is quite suitable for the story, and it is aided by good use of the lighting and photography. Overall, if you can set aside the misleading (for Holmes fans) title, it is an entertaining mystery with some good touches.

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