Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 4, 2012
Sherlock and Watson's second wartime adventure. This time the forced patriotism isn't as prevalent which gives way to an interesting story that uses the wartime backdrop to great effect. Holmes, once again played by the phenomenally good Rathbone, helps a scientist with a Secret Weapon to escape Switzerland without running foul of Nazis. Once back in England, the scientist develops his weapon for the British government but an old nemesis of Holmes' is back to wreak havoc. The film has the typical but always amusing banter between Holmes and Watson, with Lestrade also given a number of key scenes to play off the pair. The mystery itself is a bit up and down at times. We are told the answer before Holmes or Moriarty work it out which means they are playing catch-up with us. Also with the short running time there is no time for any character development. It is all exposition. Character was particularly important here, as one could argue against the scientist's choices in how he deals with the situation. A fun and fast paced entry.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2011
I had the chance not too long ago to see this with a small crowd in a theatre, and I had a lot of fun in the process. I don't know if The Secret Weapon is one of Holmes' best outtings, but it's certainly enjoyable. The beginning is kind of slow and it takes a bit to get the plot underway (more so than usual), but it gets better and better as the film goes along. Again, Moriarty is up to no good, this time trying to steal a nuclear weapon. The pace is a little more lax than other films in the series, but there's enough story instead of constant expository dialogue to make up for it. The ending is also quite biting, and makes the whole film worth watching, in my opinion. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these films in the future.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2008
The fourth partnership with Rathbone and Bruce as Holmes and Watson. The second one transferred in time to WWII. Dr. Tobel (Post), of Switzerland, has invented the secret weapon in question and Holmes is assigned to keep him and it out of the hands of the Nazis. A couple of the clues Holmes follows when Tobel goes missing harken back to Doyle's stories, but otherwise it doesn't have much in common with the literary creation. Sherlock dons a couple good disguises and the settings are fairly interesting. However, this Dr. Watson is pretty useless as is Lestrade, the mystery is not gripping, nor is Moriarty (Atwill) that threatening, and I don't like the changes to costumes, vehicles, or historical context to cheapen the costs.
Super Reviewer
½ February 1, 2010
Starts off slow but it's pretty great. I always love the Professor Moriarty mysteries because you know Holmes is going to have at least 2 great disguises and I wasn't disappointed.
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2009
I found this review from an imdb user "James Oblivion" very close to what I have been thinking about the film: "All in all, this film has its moments, but fails to live up to the legend of the world's greatest detective. Rathbone is a fine Holmes and Bruce (despite the almost unforgivable dumbing down of the Watson character) does a good job, as well. But much of the supporting cast seem to be phoning in their performances. The production values are rather noticeably low and the script is fairly ludicrous. I still watch this one from time to time, and certainly prefer it over Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (the first "Universal" Holmes entry)...but I can't help but think that Sherlock Holmes deserves better than this."
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2008
This is so boring, I am usually up for a good mystery, but this is some crappy hybrid. There is no climax and at no point are you fearful for Holmes. A bunch full of shinanegans.
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2008
Another solid Sherlock Holmes outing.
June 10, 2013
Not a great Sherlock (too many plot holes), but one that's entertaining, never dull and has a lot of intrigues going for it.
January 8, 2010
Poor Professor Moriarty outsmarted by Holmes yet again. This was a great movie to showcase Holmes' brilliant use of disguises.
February 28, 2008
Starting in Switzerland, Sherlock Holmes rescues the inventor of a bomb-sight which the allies want to keep from the Nazis. Back in London it sems that the inventor is not all that he seemed.
February 7, 2007
Another great film from the Sherlock Holmes saga. Universal was cranking them out pretty fast, but they were by no means cheap or bad looking. The cinematography of the series was becoming very film noirish. In the Secret Weapon, the focus is again on Nazism in Europe.
The character of Doctor Tobel is so passionate and adamant about his helping the cause. The patriotism that is crammed down our throats is actually not suffocating as one might suspect, no, actually it is a reflection of the struggle all the civilized world had with the war.
½ June 1, 2009
Possibly I've just seen Secret Weapon one too many times (or it could be the jet lag) but this rendition of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce attempting to outfox the Nazis seems just a cut below their usual high standard (for genre pics). The plot, freely adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Adventure of the Dancing Men", utilizes an alphabet substitution code that admittedly fits well into the wartime (not Victorian) milieu. Holmes dons not one, not two, but three different disguises to confuse and perturb the enemy (but not, of course, the audience). However, the insertion of Moriarty into the action creates a mishmash of story threads that don't really cohere, even if his dastardly tricks do provide some competition for our master sleuth.
July 29, 2012
One of the worse Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone as the leading man. While Holmes' indisputable style and wit are still intact, and Dr Watson is as clumsy and funny as always, the action is simply too slow, and the mystery doesn't seem engaging enough. While most of the other installment in the long series seem strong, the clash between the legendary and his arch nemesis seems too bleak to fully entertain.
½ July 21, 2012
goood but doesnt feeling like a sherlock holmes movie
June 13, 2012
Not as mysterious as one would expect, but still entertaining.
½ February 25, 2008
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON (1942)
½ October 5, 2010
Reasonably good fun. The propaganda element is so cheesy that it becomes a joke in and of itself. Rathbone is awesome, Nigel Bruce is hilarious... Lionel Atwill is a serviceable Moriarty. It's all very brisk and well made, but nothing really remarkable. I does incorporate Doyle elements, which is a plus for the Universal wartime pics
½ May 30, 2010
The obvious always appears simple

Dr. Franz Tobel is a French scientist that is in the process of developing some unique bombing inventions. The Nazis decide to kidnap Dr. Tobel to use his technology to win the World War. Scotland Yard sends one of their detectives, Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson, to save the doctor from the Nazis.

"We will not only escape their trap, but we'll also take their cheese along with it."

Roy William Neill, director of The Black Angel, Rhythms of the Islands, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, Madame Spy, The Lone Wolf Returns, and American Madness, delivers Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon. The storyline for this picture is entertaining and well delivered. The characters are presented and developed well and the acting was solid. The cast includes Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

"You'll find yourself asleep while taking your trousers off."

I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes pictures and decided to give this film a shot. This was an interesting picture with an appropriate run time (70 minutes). The cast delivered remarkable performances and the overall plot was well delivered. I recommend seeing this movie and I will be watching the other Sherlock Holmes pictures delivered by Neill and Rathbone.

"They are sending some amateur detective. His name is Holmes or something."

Grade: B-
May 9, 2010
Pure nonsense and an insult to a Victorian Holmes.

Read this synopsis from RT itself and see if the use of Sherlock to solve WWII problems is a stretch. Any fool reviewer that would give this loathsome excuse for a Holmes story credibility is just fishing for compliments.

"The secret weapon is a new bombsight which could hasten the outcome of World War II, and both the Allies and the Nazis are in a desperate race to secure it for themselves.

Super sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his trusty assistant Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are assigned to find the kidnapped scientist who developed the secret weapon, only to be foiled by Holmes' nemesis, the evil Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill).

Based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story THE ADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MEN, this Holmes case transplants the Victorian sleuth into the realm of WWII espionage and is also the first of the films to introduce Dennis Hoey as Scotland Yard detective Inspector Lestrade."----- RT not my review.

Folks, lets not be hoodwinked (fooled) into accepting this farce of a film to be anything but fanciful creativity. It is a preposterous a film.

Not enjoyable unless you think Holmes lived into WWII. If you can accept the super loser premise, than it is ok to watch once.
March 26, 2010
A lovely Sherlock Holmes Movie with the best Holmes of all Time Basil Rathbone
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