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Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in... See full summary »

Director:

John Rawlins

Writers:

Lynn Riggs (screenplay), John Bright (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Evelyn Ankers ... Kitty
Reginald Denny ... Sir Evan Barham
Thomas Gomez ... Meade
Henry Daniell ... Anthony Lloyd
Montagu Love ... Gen. Jerome Lawford
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Fabian Prentiss
Leyland Hodgson ... Capt. Roland Shore
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Storyline

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in the crisis. Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), are visited the first night of their investigation; a man falls dying from a knife wound on their doorstep. His last word leads Holmes into the slums where he encounters Kitty (Evelyn Ankers), the sweetheart of the slain man. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@sudenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MASTER MINDS OF MYSTERY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes Saves London See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As in nearly all television series from the 1950s up until about the 1990s, the opening credits to the twelve Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films made by Universal, and set in what was then modern times, were almost identical, with the camera first panning upwards from the floor to show Holmes and Watson, and the moving shadows of both shown for the rest of the credits. The same opening music was used in all twelve films. See more »

Goofs

The opening montage gives a list of the Voice of Terror's broadcasts: Sunday February 5th, Thursday March 23rd, Friday May 12th, Saturday July 1st, Tuesday August 8th, and Tuesday September 19th (actually the day after the genuine Nazi propaganda broadcasts began to be transmitted on radio). These dates all equate to 1939, the majority well before World War II officially broke out on September 3rd of that year. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Voice of Terror: [off-screen] Germany broadcasting. Germany broadcasting. People of Britain, greetings from the Third Reich. This is the voice you have learned to fear. This is the Voice of Terror. Again, we bring you disaster: crushing, humiliating disaster. It is folly to stand against the mighty wrath of the Fuhrer. Do you need more testimony of his invincible might to bring you to your knees? Very well. Are you ready, Operative Number 7? This is the Voice of Terror. A secret airplane factory ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

SHERLOCK HOLMES, the immortal character of fiction created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is ageless, invincible and unchanging. In solving significant problems of the present day he remains - as ever - the supreme master of deductive reasoning. See more »

Connections

Followed by Dressed to Kill (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"There's an east wind coming, Watson."
8 June 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

When the sinister Voice of Terror taunts England over the radio with news of acts of sabotage against the Allies, the Inner Council of British Intelligence has no choice but to turn to England's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone). Holmes, with help from his criminal underworld connections, investigates and uncovers the true identity of the Voice of Terror.

After two fine films at Fox and a three-year gap, the Sherlock Holmes series movies to Universal. The change of studios also brings with it the updating of Holmes to the 1940s, where he understandably spends the early entries in the series battling Nazis. This change upsets many purists, who already have problems with the Rathbone series for its portrayal of Watson as comic relief and its deviations from the books. If you're one of those, I doubt anything I can say will alter your opinion. I don't happen to be bothered by the changes. I actually enjoy the movies more because of them.

As in his two films at Fox, Rathbone here is the perfect Holmes. One of my favorite scenes from any of his Holmes films occurs in this one when Holmes and Watson go to a seedy pub frequented by criminals. One of the criminals, a particularly frightening thug Sherlock put away years before, approaches the duo and we're led to believe any second now he will try to exact some violent revenge on Holmes. I won't spoil how the scene ends but pay attention to the way Rathbone plays this entire scene. It's wonderful stuff. I would be remiss in doing any kind of review for Voice of Terror without mentioning Rathbone's hairstyle. For some reason they decided to give him a rather silly-looking haircut where the hair on the sides is combed forward. It's hard not to chuckle when you first see it. Thankfully he wears a hat for a lot of the picture.

For his part, Nigel Bruce is a great sidekick. He has less to do here than some of the other movies but, as always, he's pleasant and fun to watch. The supporting cast is great, with the likes of Henry Daniell, Reginald Denny, and Thomas Gomez giving solid turns. Special mention goes to Evelyn Ankers, who gives one of her most different performances here. She plays the wife of a criminal killed for helping Holmes who then agrees to help the detective herself. Not for the sake of law & order but for the love of country. Her best scene is when she gives a rousing speech to her fellow criminals and lowlifes, enlisting them to help Holmes and England.

This is a solid start to the Universal Holmes series. Not the best but very entertaining nonetheless. Reading some of the older reviews here is a bit stomach-churning. Jeez, you'd think these people WANTED the Nazis to win! They seem so bitter and angry over the film being pro-England during World War II. What's this world coming to when people hate patriotism and nationalism so much they gripe about it more than the Nazis? The fact that most of these reviewers identify themselves as being from England or America makes the whole thing doubly sad.


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