Nigel Bruce - Rotten Tomatoes

Nigel Bruce



Though a British subject through and through, actor Nigel Bruce was born in Mexico while his parents were on vacation there. His education was interrupted by service in World War I, during which he suffered a leg injury and was confined to a wheelchair for the duration. At the end of the war, Bruce pursued an acting career, making his stage debut in The Creaking Door (1920). A stint in British silent pictures began in 1928, after which Bruce divided his time between stage and screen, finally settling in Hollywood in 1934 (though he continued to make sporadic appearances in such British films as The Scarlet Pimpernel). Nigel's first Hollywood picture was Springtime for Henry (1934), and soon he'd carved a niche for himself in roles as bumbling, befuddled middle-aged English gentlemen. It was this quality which led Bruce to being cast as Sherlock Holmes' companion Dr. Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), a pleasurable assignment in that the film's Holmes, Basil Rathbone, was one of Bruce's oldest and closest friends. While Bruce's interpretation of Watson is out of favor with some Holmes purists (who prefer the more intelligent Watson of the original Conan Doyle stories), the actor played the role in 14 feature films, successfully cementing the cinema image of Sherlock's somewhat slower, older compatriot - even though he was in fact three years younger than Rathbone. Bruce continued to play Dr. Watson on a popular Sherlock Holmes radio series, even after Rathbone had deserted the role of Holmes in 1946. Bruce's last film role was in the pioneering 3-D feature, Bwana Devil (1952). He fell ill and died in 1953, missing the opportunity to be reunited with Basil Rathbone in a Sherlock Holmes theatrical production.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet World for Ransom
  • Gov. Coutts
1954
No Score Yet Bwana Devil
  • Dr. Angus McLean
1952
No Score Yet Hong Kong
  • Mr. Lighton
1952
97% Limelight
  • Postant, an Impressario
1952
No Score Yet Julia Misbehaves
  • Col. Willowbrook
1948
No Score Yet The Exile
  • Sir Edward Hyde
1947
No Score Yet The Two Mrs. Carrolls
  • Dr. Tuttle
1947
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes: Prelude to Murder
  • Dr. Watson
1946
80% Sherlock Holmes - Dressed to Kill
  • Dr. Watson
1946
75% Terror by Night
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1946
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes in Pursuit to Algiers
  • Dr. Watson
1945
100% Sherlock Holmes and the Woman in Green
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1945
No Score Yet The Corn Is Green
  • The Squire
1945
No Score Yet Son of Lassie
  • Duke of Rudling
1945
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes in the House of Fear
  • Dr. Watson
1945
No Score Yet Frenchman's Creek
  • Lord Godolphin
1944
No Score Yet The Pearl of Death
  • Doctor Watson
1944
No Score Yet The Scarlet Claw
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1944
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes in the Spider Woman
  • Dr. Watson
1944
No Score Yet Crazy House
  • Cameo appearance
1943
94% Lassie Come Home
  • Duke of Rudling
1943
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
  • Doctor Watson
1943
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes in Washington
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1943
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1943
No Score Yet Forever and a Day
  • Maj. Garrow
1943
No Score Yet Journey for Margaret
  • Herbert V. Allison
1942
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
  • Doctor Watson
1942
No Score Yet This Above All
  • Ramsbottom
1942
89% Roxie Hart
  • E. Clay Benham
1942
100% Suspicion
  • Beaky Thwait
1941
No Score Yet The Black Cat
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet The Chocolate Soldier
  • Bernard Fischer
1941
No Score Yet Play Girl
  • Bill Vincent
1941
No Score Yet Hudson's Bay
  • Prince Rupert
1941
No Score Yet Susan and God
  • Hutchins Stubbs
1940
No Score Yet Lillian Russell
  • William Gilbert
1940
100% Rebecca
  • Lacey
1940
No Score Yet The Blue Bird
  • Mr. Luxury
1940
No Score Yet The Rains Came
  • Albert Lord Esketh
1939
100% The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Dr. Watson
1939
100% The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Dr. Watson
1939
No Score Yet Kidnapped
  • Neil MacDonald
1938
No Score Yet Suez
  • Sir Malcolm Cameron
1938
No Score Yet The Last of Mrs. Cheyney
  • Sir William
1937
No Score Yet Thunder in the City
  • Duke of Glenavon
1937
No Score Yet Trail of the Lonesome Pine
  • Mr. Thurber
1936
83% Charge of the Light Brigade
  • Sir Benjamin Warrenton
1936
No Score Yet Becky Sharp
  • Joseph Sedley
1935
No Score Yet She
  • Holly
1935
80% The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Prince of Wales
1935
No Score Yet Treasure Island
  • Squire Trelawney
1934
No Score Yet Stand Up and Cheer
  • Eustace Dinwiddie
1934
No Score Yet Coming Out Party
  • Troon, the Butler
1934
No Score Yet I Was a Spy
  • Scotty
1934
No Score Yet Escape
  • Constable
1930

Quotes from Nigel Bruce's Characters

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