Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Sherlock Holmes
as Dr. John H. Watson
as Prof. Moriarty
as Charlotte Eberli
as Inspector Lestrade
as Dr. Franz Tobel
as Sir Reginald Bailey
as Mrs. Hudson
as Frederick Hoffner
as Peg Leg
as Jack Brady
as R.A.F. Air Officer
as Scotland Yard Man
as London Bobby
Critic Reviews for Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
The pacing is slack, the big mystery not mysterious enough, and the showdowns between Holmes and Moriarty a bit too silly for my taste.
Audience Reviews for Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
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.
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.
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.
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