Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)

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Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) Poster

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to Washington D.C. in order to prevent a secret document from falling into enemy hands.


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9 June 2014 | utgard14
| "Democracy - the only hope for the future, eh, Holmes?"
Third in the Universal series of Sherlock Holmes films is another strong one with a WWII plot. A British secret agent carrying important documents is kidnapped en route to Washington, D.C. The British government turns to Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to find the agent and the documents. Together with Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), Holmes journeys to America to investigate.

Rathbone and Bruce are terrific, as usual. This is the last entry in the series where Rathbone sports that silly hairstyle. George Zucco and Henry Daniell are great villains, which should surprise no one. They both played Holmes' nemesis Prof. Moriarty in other films. Holmes Herbert, Thurston Hall, Gavin Muir, and Edmund Macdonald are among the fine actors in the wonderful supporting cast. Marjorie Lord provides the pretty. Strong direction from Roy William Neill.

It's a very entertaining movie. No backhanded compliments here. No "best of the propaganda Holmes films" or "thankfully not as much flag-waving as the previous two films" or any of that stuff. Unlike some other reviewers I don't respond to patriotism (especially during WWII) like the Wicked Witch responds to water. After this entry, Holmes would return to murder mysteries although still taking place in the (then) present day rather than the Victorian era, much to the consternation of Holmes purists. I have my thoughts on that but I'll just quote John Archer, the actor who played Lt. Pete Merriam in this film: "Those Sherlock Holmes fans -- by God, they are rabid. They want everything to be just the way it was."

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