Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)

DailyView: Day 151, Movie 231

The fifth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes movies popped up on my list in YouTube after I finished watching And Then There Was None, and I decided that I would watch this film. I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes in many of his iterations, but I have not seen any of the Basil Rathbone films making this a perfect film for the DailyView.

In Sherlock Holmes in Washington, the iconic detective travels to Washington, D.C. in pursuit of a document that would cause major disruption if it fell into the wrong hands. The British agent who was transporting the film in Washington aboard a train passed it off to Nancy Partridge (Marjorie Lord), an unwitting American woman, just prior to his own abduction by German spies.

Sherlock Holmes was recruited by the British government to find the document and see what had happened to the agent.

Basil Rathbone made a very solid Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce performed a role as the comedic relief as Dr. Watson. They were excellent together and you could tell that they were very comfortable in their roles by this point in the series. The rest of the cast are basically there to play off of our two main leads and to fill the time until Sherlock’s deductive reasoning wins the day. I do wish Rathbone would have worn the classic Holmes deerstalker cap during the movie, but that is a minor complaint.

The story was simple and fairly straight forward. We knew where the document was from the beginning and it was more of a interest to see if anyone would realize where it was as it made its way around to plenty of the extras during the film. Our villain, Richard Stanley (aka Heinrich Hinkel), played by George Zucco, was not the brightest bulb around and did not really pose much of a threat to Sherlock or Watson.

The film is short and well paced. Rathbone and Bruce are naturals by this point and their performances were dependable. Holmes is our hero again and spends time gazing at the American monuments and quoting Winston Churchill. This is an entertaining way to spend an hour and change.

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