Terror by Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Terror by Night Reviews

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½ November 8, 2014
Basil Rthtbone and Nigel Bruce star in the xxth installment of the Sherlock Holmes series of films. When an attempt is made on a valuable diamond Holmes is hired to protect while it is being transported by train, Holmes begins to suspect the involvement of a nemesis he's never met: Colonel Sebastian Moran.

This is one of the more entertaining of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films of the series; I like the interesting array of characters, the fact that almost the whole story takes place on a train, and the fun series of twists and turns in the story. Unfortunately, Watson is at his most buffoonish here, especially when he decides to conduct interviews without the help of Holmes or Lestrade, though he does redeem himself in the final fight. You won't really be surprised by the revelation of who turns out to be Moran, but it's still pretty satisfying to watch everything unfold. Dennis Hoey has probably his most prominent performance as Inspector Lestrade here.

The claustrophobic setting is actually beneficial to the film and director Roy William Neill - who directed nearly all of the Rathbone-Bruce films - is able to get a lot of mileage out of the cramped quarters of the train. Neill keeps things tightly paced and since the film last just under an hour, the plot just zips right along.

The flick also features some pretty good banter between Holmes and Watson. Their performances make up for the decided lack of intricate plotting. There's a funny scene where Watson mistakenly thinks he's captured the jewel thieves, but it turns out they only stole a teapot from their hotel room. Rathbone does another fine job as Holmes. There's a solid scene where Holmes grips onto the side of the speeding train for dear life, which was probably thee most action you'll find in the series.
½ August 28, 2014
The penultimate 1940s Sherlock Holmes film with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce sees them protecting the Star of Rhodesia diamond on a train to Scotland. Unfortunately, in some ways, the series seems to have run out of steam and, despite a clever plot twist or two, the film has no edge to it. Perhaps we know not to be afraid even when Holmes is hanging off the back of the train in peril or maybe it is just too easy to identify the red herrings in this lot of character actors? Still, it is reassuring to spend time with this bunch, even if Lestrade can be a bit annoying.
½ August 10, 2014
One of my favourite Holmes flicks. The train atmosphere is fantastic & the story is superbly executed! However, I did not like that they revealed the killer before the mystery was even solved. Bit anti-climatic.
February 5, 2014
wow ummmmn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.......i think that basil rathbone, nigel bruce, alan mowbray, dennis hoey, renee godfrey, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.......i think that the director of this drama/action/adventure/mystery/suspense/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch........i think that even though this is quite a short movie 2 watch its still worth a watch as its a really enjoyable suspense movie 2 watch.......its got a good cast throughout this movie.......i think that basil rathbone was great as sherlock holmes throughout this movie.......i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch........i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch.......i think that nigel bruce was good as watson throughout this movie.......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch......i think that this is a really enjoyable movie 2 watch.....sure its a black white movie but its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch.....i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its so really well directed movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie......i think that this is an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie.......
January 2, 2014
Rathbone and Bruce star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, hired to prevent the theft of a diamond on a train. But when a murder is commited and the diamond disappears, Holmes finds himself having to deduce the murderer's identity among the passengers of the train. A good sleuth film among the best based on the character of Sherlock Holmes, with a good intriguing screenplay that does not lack witty dialogue, memorable performances and a good use of a claustrophobic atmosphere.
December 2, 2013
One of the most fun of all of the classic Holmes sees the action take place on board a night train to Scotland.
½ August 7, 2012
Lots Of Characters & Twists - A Fun Train Ride--The Sherlock Holmes Express!!
July 29, 2012
While on a train, many strange things might happen. And Sherlock Holmes is prepared for this kind of events. THe story concerns a precious and valuable diamond, which brings nothing but murder and intrigue into the lives of seemingly innocent passengers. Dr. Watson tries to show his own deductive skills at one point, but fails miserably, in the most funny way one can imagine. Basil Rathbone still strong, stylish, persuasive, elaborate, and eloquent as true master-detective should be. Terror by Night rises high, while having some flaws, and is rather shot, but still gives a pleasure through it's well-written plot.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2012
I for one think Basil Rathbone played the best Sherlock Holmes. This movie has Holmes and Watson on a train en route from London to Edinburgh, They are there to protect The Star Of Rhodesia. A huge Diamond held by the Carstairs family. Of course we are lead to believe the diamond is stolen, and has Holmes bundled the case. There are so many suspects in this 60 minute classic. The ending provides quite a twist. I'm sad to say the film I watched was not a UCLA 35mm "restored" process team edition, but some company taking advantage of this film being in public domain and the film quality showed. You can also watch this film here on Flixster for free. Even though film quality was so poor, it was still worth 4 stars as a Holmes Classic.
December 13, 2011
I hate the way Dr. Watson was silly portrayed in this film.
September 5, 2011
June 22, 2011
Not the finest film ever made - not even one of the best in the Rathbone/Bruce series, but it is (ahem) splendidly mounted and commendably brief. It's a fast-paced beast of a film, all over in just an hour. I do like a film set on board a train (The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, even The Cassandra Crossing, dagnab it) and Terror by Night takes advantage of the inherent dramatic possibilities of travel by chuff-chuff. Holmes and Watson are hired to protect an old lady's bling on The Flying Scotsman supposedly - although it seems to metamorphose into a dozen different trains during the course of the journey, including The Orient Express if I'm not mistaken, thanks to the archive train footage used! There are two highlights for me: Watson coming a cropper while trying to question an academic duffer with very impressive side-whiskers, and the all-too-brief appearance of the unusual-visaged and terrifically named Skelton Knaggs as Sands, Colonel Sebastian Moran's creepily camp apprentice. He's a little ripper.
½ June 19, 2011
A very well crafted mystery that finally goes away from the generic Sherlock Holmes feeling. Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are as good as ever. I have seen a lot of Sherlock Holmes movies lately and this is by far the best one I have seen it is very original. I see that a lot of people don't like the portrayal of Watson but I have always pictured him as a drunken bumbling mess who does the right thing every once in a while and is the ultimate sidekick to the greatest detective in fiction. Terror By Night is the best Rathbone, Bruce, mystery.
June 16, 2011
From the oceanliner confines of Pursuit to Algiers to the steam engine confines here, Terror By Night is thankfully less dull than the previous entry but nowhere near as exciting as some of the better Rathbone/Bruce episodes. Holmes is charged with guarding the Star of Rhodesia diamond, but as bodies start piling up he must put wits toward discovering the murderer as well. Enjoyable speeding locomotive models, outdoor tumblings, and an excellent fish-lipped henchman in creepy Skelton Knaggs keep this penultimate Holmes outing from being a snooze, but again, it's no Scarlet Claw or even Hound of the Baskervilles. VF.
June 2, 2011
Good movie. I grew up watching Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in Holmes' movies. Can't beat a good mystery on a train.
April 12, 2011
short but sweet Holmes mystery with a jewel theft and a murder on the train to Scotland
½ February 2, 2011
Fun hour long mystery through a murder filled train car with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce
December 28, 2010
Great. I would have thought that 10 films in, Neill wouldn't really have anything else up his sleeve (especially since some of the later entries are particularly tired,) but this is a diamond in the rough. Set almost entirely on a train, the film has an odd hum, a rhythmic flow to it, with each scene punctuated by loud shots of the train hurtling through the night. The plot itself is solid, with the final gambit being a lot of fun. One complaint: Renee Godfrey's accent is one of the strangest things ever.
August 20, 2010
Great excitement as Holmes solves the case on a train!
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