Thursday, March 24, 2022

Review of "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror," starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

 Review of

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

Five out of five stars

Still the best Holmes and Watson

 To fans of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce remain the best actors to ever play the roles of Holmes and Watson. While this story is modernized to the current affairs of England in World War II, the essence of the two characters is preserved. The year is 1942 and England is fighting for its’ very life against the forces of Germany.

 The “Voice of Terror” is a radio broadcast that originates in Germany and announces yet another act of terror being committed against England. Those acts are announced at the very time that they take place. The English leadership is completely baffled by the manner in which the “Voice of Terror” manages to carry out their actions, so they call in Sherlock Holmes.  

 Holmes starts out in his usual manner, pointing out basic facts of the situation that he has discerned in the few seconds he has been in the room. From that point, it is a classic Holmes story modified to fight the Germans. Although there is more than a little wartime British propaganda blended into the show, that aspect does not overwhelm the essence of the Holmes/Watson duality. In the end, the British emerge victorious in this particular aspect of the battle for supremacy for Europe and the world.

 It is not easy to adapt a character of 1890’s England into a time fifty years later when the very existence of England is at stake. Yet, the people who made this film managed to pull it off.

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