Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes‘s mortal enemy, wants to get his hands on a revolutionary new bombsight. It’s up to Holmes and his faithful sidekick, Dr. John Watson, to protect the man who invented the device from falling into the clutches of Moriarty and the Nazis.
Reason of the public domain status: Registered in the year it was made but never renewed.
The second of Universal’s “modernized” Sherlock Holmes films pits the Great Detective (Basil Rathbone, of course) against that “Napoleon of Crime,” Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill). Surpassing his previous skullduggery, Moriarty has now aligned himself with the Nazis and has dedicated himself to stealing a top-secret bomb sight developed by expatriate European scientist Dr. Franz Tobel (William Post Jr.). Before being kidnapped by Moriarty’s minions, Tobel was enterprising enough to disassemble his invention and distribute its components among several other patriotic scientists. Racing against the clock, Holmes and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) try to stem the murders of Tobel’s colleagues and prevent Moriarty from getting his mitts on the precious secret weapon. The now-famous climax finds Holmes playing for time by allowing Moriarty to drain all the blood from his body, drop by drop (“The needle to the last, eh Holmes?” gloats the villain). Dennis Hoey makes his first appearance as the dull-witted, conclusion-jumping Inspector Lestrade. Constructed more like a serial than a feature film, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (based loosely on Conan Doyle’s The Dancing Men) is one of the 12 fastest-moving entries produced and distributed by Universal Pictures between 1942 and 1946.
Director: Roy William Neill
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Date Release: 1943
Audio & Video: Mono – Black and White
Cast: Basil Rathbone/Sherlock Holmes – Nigel Bruce/Doctor John H. Watson – Lionel Atwill/Professor James Moriarty
Additional details in: IMDB
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Filed Under: Mystery