The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)


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Movie Info

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce make their second screen appearances as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in this film. Played with relish by George Zucco, Moriarty plots to steal the Crown Jewels and to confound Holmes by obliging the Great Detective to be in two places at once.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Edwin Blum, William Absalom Drake, William A. Drake
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 27, 2004
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



as Sherlock Holmes

as Dr. Watson

as Ann Brandon

as Prof. Moriarty

as Jerrold Hunter

as Sir Ronald Ramsgate

as Inspector Bristol

as Bassick

as Mrs. Jameson

as Lloyd Brandon

as Mrs. Hudson

as Justice

as Lady Conyngham

as Stranger
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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Critic Reviews for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | July 4, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Superior mystery film.

Full Review… | December 28, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Basil Rathbone still remains the definitive screen Sherlock Holmes for many of the character's fans.

Full Review… | December 6, 2009
Turner Classic Movies Online

Audience Reviews for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


Another excellent outing for Rathbone and Bruce as Holmes and Watson. This time Holmes faces his most well known nemesis Moriarty. The film begins with Moriarty being found innocent of murder, with Holmes bursting into the courtroom just a few seconds too late. After the courtroom scene we see Holmes and Moriarty talking together like real competitors, without the hate you'd find between most enemies. They certainly have admiration for each other, and this admiration makes the film so enjoyable. Despite the fact that people's lives and reputations are at risk, you can easily tell they enjoy competing with each other. Moriarty then sends Holmes on a number of wild goose chases to conceal his real crime. I did like seeing Moriarty by himself and his love for plants. His clearly showed him as having a limited connection with humans. A simple act of not watering his plants also showed his talents are similar to Holmes'. Unfortunately, telling the audience that the mysteries are wild goose chases means we are waiting for Holmes to catch up with us. Like the previous effort the setting becomes a character in itself. The occupied streets of London are just as cold, dark, and sinister as the moors. This kind of makes the murders even more devilish. Watson is used more for comedic relief, which is annoying at times, as he ends up getting blamed for things that go wrong. Rathbone is at the centre stage here and he holds it well. He is always calm, but adds a sense of urgency when needed to heighten our excitement. His disguise was once again brilliant, and I didn't guess it this time. A great stylish offering.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

One of the earliest Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone in the lead is one of the better entries in the series. Rathbone and Bruce make a wonderful team but what helps separate this from the others is the casting of a very young Ida Lupino in the menaced maiden role, usually the endangered lady was a pretty but utilitarian actress of minor note. Ida was on her way up at this point and within the year would break through to the majors in "They Drive By Night" and her star quality shines through here making her plight and the mystery more involving. The film itself has good production values and moves at a brisk pace.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

"Elementary, my dear Watson."

Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Quotes

– Submitted by Dutch E (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Tyler C (4 years ago)

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