Working for the British government, Sherlock Holmes manages to spirit Dr. Franz Tobel out of Switzerland and into England before the GESTAPO are able to get to him. Tobel has devised an immensely accurate bomb site and while he is willing to make it available to the Allies, he insists on manufacturing it himself. Soon however, he vanishes and it is left to Homes, assisted bu the bumbling Dr. Watson, to decipher a coded message he left behind. Holmes soon realizes that he is up against his old nemesis, Professor Moriarty.
Running Time: 80 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: PG
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON (1943) In which Sherlock Holmes becomes a car thief, hangs out at sailor bars, and expresses a familiarity with opium. Basil Rathbone also indulges a vanity for pageantry and makeup, and engages in numerous stratagems of dubious utility. All of which is to say that they played fast and loose in updating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not to worry, Rathbone unquestionably excels in exhibiting Holmes' pompous nature, but only to be upstaged by Nigel Bruce' casual portrayal of a caustic Watson. Watson may even appear to be the brighter one, as he knows that Holmes has things under control anyway, and so expends his energy in the pursuit of a good time and personal amusement.
I expected naked and inspirational patriotic propaganda, what with the plot involving Nazis and all, but was sadly disappointed. It's all about Rathbone and Bruce, and Lionel Atwill appearing slightly thick to be the evil mastermind Moriarty. All the easier to explain how Rathbone prevails despite an apparent death-wish though, and Basil does try to do his part by plagiarizing (or is that quoting?, no mind, it's effective) Shakespeare at the conclusion.
Once again Sherlock Holmes doing what he does best with his trusty sidekick Watson. Holmes begins this story in disguise, helping to smuggle a famous physicist "Dr. Franz Tobel" out of Switzeralnad and under the watchful eye of the Nazis, who want his bomb sight plans. The Allies obviously want it too, and Sherlock is there to help.
The quality of this film is quite impressive for its age. A2ZCDS did a great job in remastering this film.
Roy William Neil
Edward T. Loew Jr.
William Post Jr.
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