A Sherlock Holmes Adventure: The Secret Weapon, video starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce
Five out of five stars
My opinion that Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are the two best actors to ever play Holmes and Watson will never change. The setting for this movie is of course London, England, only the timeframe is in the height of World War II. Released in 1942 when England was still subject to significant bombing raids and no one could foresee the ultimate Allied victory, it is easy to understand the propaganda-like aspects of the film.
The adversary is of course the powerful and dangerous Professor Moriarty in alliance with the Nazis, despite the fact that Moriarty is also British. The plot features a Swiss scientist that has invented a technologically advanced bombsight that will dramatically increase the accuracy of the bombs dropped from planes. The German agents of course want to acquire the sight or at minimum, keep the British from using it.
Being Moriarty and Nazis, the villains will stop at nothing, including the killing of people working for the Swiss scientist. One interesting feature is when Holmes allows himself to be captured by the Moriarty gang and the two foes sit and discuss the situation. It was similar to scenes in the James Bond films where Bond dines and converses with an enemy that he needs to kill to save the world and wants to kill him.
Although there is a lack of the modern special effects that sometimes overwhelm the stories, this is a movie that can be enjoyed, with the pleasure enhanced if you understand the historical context of an England fighting for its very life. There is a very telling scene of Holmes walking through the rubble left by aerial bombing.