Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

DailyView: Day 278, Movie 393

Tonight, I returned to the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes movies for Sherlock Holmes Faces Death.

As always, Rathbone and Bruce are excellent together as Holmes and Watson. This film was loosely based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual” from 1893.

The film is a mystery film where Sherlock Holmes is trying to solve the murders that are occurring at the Musgrave Manor, a home being used as a hospital for a number of servicemen who are suffering from events of the war. Dr. Watson was working at the manor, and called in his friend Mr. Holmes after his colleague Dr. Saxton (Arthur Margetson) was attacked and stabbed in the neck, though he survived the attempt.

This was not my favorite of the Rathbone/Bruce series of films. This one felt pretty forced and the conclusion was forgone. I saw that one coming from the beginning. The mystery was anything but mysterious. Holmes’ tricks were also very obvious.

This film abandoned the idea that Holmes was a bit of a spy hunter in the war protecting England. It is a new (or old) way to look at Holmes in this series. While I did not love this, it was a nice step to have Holmes back to his old ways.

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