Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


TERROR BY NIGHT (1946). Director: Roy William Neill.

Sherlock Holmes is hired to prevent the theft of the incredible Star of Rhodesia jewel owned by the haughty Lady Carstairs (Mary Forbes). This film isn't even an hour long, so it would be criminal to give away any of the surprises, but it involves skullduggery on board a train going from London to Edinburgh. On board are Lady Carstairs, her son Roland (Geoffrey Steele), Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey), the femme fatale Vivan Vedder (Renee Godfrey), and of course Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Watson (Nigel Bruce). Other passengers include Watson's friend Major Duncan-Bleek (Alan Mowbray). Holmes wonders if his antagonist could be none other than Sebastian Moran, an associate of the late Professor Moriarty. Very fast-paced and engaging with generally good performances from all.

Verdict: Entertaining mystery-thriller is clever if on the slight side. **1/2.

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