April 21, 2017
Sherlock Holmes in Washington.
Review #925: Sherlock Holmes in Washington.
Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Dr. Watson), Marjorie Lord (Nancy Partridge), Henry Daniell (William Easter), George Zucco (Heinrich Hinkel), John Archer (Lt. Pete Merriam), Gavin Muir (Mr. Lang, government agent), and Edmund MacDonald (Detective Lt. Grogan) Directed by Roy William Neill (#846 - Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and #873 - Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon)
This is the fifth film to star Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes (#583 - The Hound of the Baskervilles, #721: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #798: Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, #873: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon). This was released in April of 1943, barely a few months after the previous film was released (having gone into general release in February after premiering in December). At 71 minutes, this runs a bit longer than the previous two films, with a fine climax involving Rathbone and Zucco, who exchange a good amount of dialogue with each other that is nifty while helping the movie get some sort of momentum. Much like the last film, it goes through the motions of a spy flick made during the war with some sort of coherence and logic. The parts in the beginning (on a train) do have some cleverness to them in watching how it is executed, though the middle edges (with occasional use of stock footage) don't compare as well. Rathbone and Bruce are up to their usual level of class, with the latter having brief moments of amusement, such as drinking milkshakes (after all, they are in America). Lord is decent as the innocent, with some degree of entertaining nature. Here's a brief summary of the film: Secret info gets turned into microfilm that is hidden into a certain type of object that falls in innocent hands. Obviously this isn't something too new (nor something that wasn't done after this film), but it works in some part to see how far the thrills try to go. There is at least some sort of effort by the others to make it seem tolerable. Notably, the movie ends with the main two characters having an exchange about America and a quote by Winston Churchill about justice and peace. It's a feel good kind of movie that will work for anyone looking for some more Sherlock things. Is it good? Not particularly (for me, anyway), but I'm sure that it'll work for others looking for some form of entertainment.
Footnote: At least this film isn't The Boy Next Door.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.