Sherlock Holmes Faces Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death Reviews

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August 8, 2014
Last weekend, when I was first struck down by this nasty cold, I watched another of the Rathbone & Bruce Sherlock Holmes films to whisk me away from my stupor. I probably watched all 14 in the series with my Dad on Saturday nights on Channel 38 back in the early '80s, but the plots are largely forgotten now. And even though I read the complete Conan Doyle stories/novellas a few years ago, that hardly affects my ability to recognize much in these liberal adaptations. Faces Death comes closest to the old Charlie Chan formula that sees the detective confronting a houseful of suspect character actors - only unlike in Chan films, there are only 1 or 2 plausible suspects here and one of them gives himself away so badly that the solution to the murders is rather obvious (even if his reasons remain unclear until the end). However, somehow, the creepy weirdness of the setting (an old mansion that has become a convalescence home for veterans, complete with secret passages and dank dungeon) manages to elevate the film beyond its otherwise not so dramatic plot.
½ July 20, 2014
Another one of my faves. Strange murders are happening at Musgrave Manor, a convalescent home for army men where Dr. Watson is working. Basil Rathbone is the only true Sherlock Holmes.
May 22, 2014
A fabulous spooky murder mystery with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes to the rescue.
½ September 13, 2012
A Holmes mystery, which involves a meaningless family ritual, a fantastic chessboard riddle, and a huge amount of money as the main motive for the murders. Sherlock Holmes' omnipresent wit and Dr. Watson's humorous and silly attitude make up for a pleasurable combination. The case is suspenseful until the very end, the dialogues are top-notich and the grim aura that surrounds the Musgrove estate is horrifying.
½ August 5, 2012
Spooky Haunted House Sherlock Holmes Mystery--Murky Murders at Musgrave Manor!!
July 20, 2012
suspense till the end...enjoyed it..bit of a slow starter too..
½ April 15, 2012
It seems that having the same director to almost all the films helps to maintain an even quality. This one is no exception.
March 25, 2012
Though sometimes totally outlandish and farfetched, this still was an entertaining SH vehicle. Sherlock is sent to a home for the mentally infirm (a very comfortable one, and one with men of laughably light ailments) Rathbone is great as Holmes as usual, and Rathbone is still quite amusing as the quite hopeless Watson. The plot again, is just a tad ridiculous, but still one of the better Holmes in the series (which are all grand),
½ March 24, 2012
another atmospheric classic,super.
December 7, 2011
I've always had a massive problem with the Universal Holmes series and it comes down to how Nigel Bruce portrayed Watson as some sort of bumbling idiot. Otherwise these are superbly made adaptations of Doyles stories, with this one particularly so. Rathbone has a ball as ever, the directing is first class along with the production values. Yes its dated a little in 80 odd years and wont hold the attention of todays audiences many of whom will assume that Holmes is more like Downey Jr but these films will always hold great affection in purists hearts.
May 23, 2011
Still set during blitz bombarded WWII England, Sherlock Holmes thankfully leaves the Nazi espionage behind with this loose adaptation of Conan Doyle's The Musgrave Ritual. While Dr. Watson attends to traumatized soldiers at Musgrave Manor, a few poor souls start popping up corpses. Holmes is called in to keep his investigation private and to debunk some possible supernatural hokum. A sizable improvement to Sherlock Holmes in Washington, Faces Death has several nifty set pieces including an indoor lighting strike. VF.
May 12, 2011
Well, doesn't he always? It's not as if Moriarty ever captures Holmes and says:
"Holmes (pronounced Hallmes), you've foiled my plans once too often. I'm going to teach you a lesson, by damme. I'm going to take you back to 221B Baker Street, take your pants down and smack your bottom in front of Mrs Hudson."
...Leaving this nonsense aside, this is a quite brilliant entry in the Rathbone & Bruce canon, beautifully restored by UCLA and based on an original AC-D story: "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual". As you'd expect with such source material, it's a gripping yarn which has been brilliantly translated to the screen, concerning a raven which croaks the word "blood", a church clock that strikes thirteen on the eve of murders, a sozzled butler, and a convalescent home filled with ex-soldiers acting very strangely. The scene where all of the suspects become chess pieces and play out the moves encoded within The Musgrave Ritual is a mini-masterpiece of dramatic tension. Very good acting throughout by everybody too but Rathbone particularly is on fire. And, praise be to Allah, his hair is back to normal in this one, after the bizarre coiffuring of the previous three films.
½ March 25, 2011
It has all the ingredients of a Sherlock Holmes movie. Suspense, drama and intelligence. Nice acting from Rathbone as Holmes.
March 18, 2011
Loved this movie! "what's this? Hello" Sherlock Holmes.
March 16, 2011
Another good Rathbone and Bruce Sherlock Holmes film. Strange goings on at a rest home for wounded and disturbed war heroes. Some good one liners as well and good support from the rest of the cast puts this as one of the best of the series
½ December 18, 2010
this sherlock holmes is like fast and furious to solve the mystery.....Good little cool story.Movie goes wid rapid pace the moment sherlock holmes enters the scene.....The chess game scene was best part of it....
November 1, 2010
The propaganda facade is gone, but unfortunately this one's a bit limp. It's bereft of atmosphere, and even Rathbone seems a little bored. Bruce gets more to do though, which is OK. One particularly pointless sequence involves Holmes setting up a human chessboard, while using an analogous standard chess board to figure out a puzzle. When he reaches the end of the puzzle, he comes to such a generic conclusion that the human chessboard had absolutely no purpose at all. Neither did the smaller chessboard, for that matter, but Neill gets to unsubtly plant clues as to who the bad guy is. Not much of an excuse.
March 30, 2010
One of my favorites in the series. I love it when there's a little gothic flavor to the episode. Also, some great one-liners and clever, snappy dialogue throughout. Perhaps Holmes best entrance thus far: lying on the floor shhoting holes in the plaster.
Also like how (finally) a war-era Holmes film downplayed the war without excluding it altogether (which would be unpatriotic, of course) by incorporating convalescent veterans as supporting characters. Well done.
½ February 24, 2010
The first Sherlock Holmes movie in the series that I saw. Got hooked instantly!
February 18, 2010
Another enjoyable entry in the Rathbone/Bruce series, perhaps only slightly let down by the overt allusions to WW II and in particular Nazi and Japanese atrocities. Rathbone's little propoganda speech is understandable for the time, but a little out of place today. This is another creepy old house, murder mystery and although the villain is a fairly easy guess this time its a fun tale and the usual cast are as wonderful as ever. Halliwell Hobbes is good as a sinister, drunkard butler.
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