(This review is for the DVD version of this movie by "FOCUSfilm" entertainment and released July 2001.)
This movie is, according to the opening credits, adapted from a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 to 1930). This was the last movie in which Basil Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes. (This was also the first time I saw Rathbone play Holmes.)
This movie is concerned with stolen counterfeit Bank of England money plates. Of all things, cheap, identical music boxes that play an old Australian song and that were made in prison by the same inmate seem to hold the key to the plates' hidden location. Also interested in these music boxes are three of this inmate's partners in crime: Mrs. Hilda Courtney (Patricia Morison), Colonel Cavanaugh (Fred Worlock), and Cavanaugh's driver Hamid Yard (Harry Cording).
When murders start occurring, Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. As well, the super-sleuth along with his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) helps with the investigation. An attempted murder also occurs.
My favorite quotation said by Sherlock in this movie:
"The truth can only be found by the painstaking elimination of the untrue."
Basil Rathbone captures the essence of the famous gumshoe in his performance. Nigel Bruce as his bumbling aid also gives a superb and, to me, an unforgettable performance. Also, look for the fine performance of Patricia Morrison as the "femme fatales."
This movie is like a time capsule of 1940's London. As well, the background music adds to each scene.
The DVD picture quality is practically perfect. There are no distracting artifacts. However, voices at the beginning of this movie are a bit muffled but this gets better as the movie progresses.
Finally extras include a theatrical trailer, still gallery, and seven original radio broadcasts of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (3 ½ hours) starring Rathbone and Bruce. I found these interesting.
In conclusion, this is a fun movie that I feel serves as an excellent introduction to Basil Rathbone portraying Sherlock Holmes!!
(1946; 70 min; 12 scenes; black and white; full screen)