Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Weapon (1943) [Thriller]



Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943) is the fourth in the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films.

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) pretends to be a Nazi spy to aid scientist Dr. Franz Tobel (William Post Jr.) and his new invention, a bombsight, in escaping a Gestapo trap in Switzerland. Holmes and Franz fly to London, where Holmes places him under the protection of his friend, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce). The scientist slips away against Holmes’ instructions for a secret reunion with his fiancee, Charlotte Eberli (Kaaren Verne), and gives her an envelope containing a coded message. He tells Charlotte to give it to Holmes if anything should happen to him. Leaving Charlotte’s apartment, an attempt to abduct him by German spies is foiled by a passing London bobby.

Tobel successfully demonstrates the bombsight for Sir Reginald Bailey (Holmes Herbert) and observers from Bomber Command. Tobel, now under the protection of Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) and Scotland Yard, tells Sir Reginald that, although willing to provide the British with his bombsight, only he will know its secret and has a complex plan for its manufacture to keep the secret safe. He separates his invention into four parts and gives one to each of four Swiss scientists, known only to him, to construct separately. Soon after, Holmes receives a call from Lestrade telling him that Tobel has disappeared. Holmes goes to Charlotte’s apartment, where he receives the Tobel’s envelope. Rather than the coded message, the message inside is from Holmes’ nemesis, master criminal Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill).

Disguising himself as Ram Singh, one of Moriarty’s old henchmen, Holmes searches the Soho district for information. He encounters two henchmen, but is captured by Moriarty. Holmes is put into the false bottom of a sea chest, but is rescued when Watson and Lestrade observe the henchmen struggling with its unusual weight. Holmes returns to Charlotte’s apartment to search for clues to the message’s contents. He finds impressions of the message left on a notepad page by immersing it in “fluorescent salts… and then photograph(ing) it by ultraviolet light.” Holmes breaks the first three lines of a cunningly modified alphabet substitution code, which are the identities and locations of three of the scientists, but unable to break the fourth line, which has been altered as an added precaution, soon learns that Moriarty has murdered all three and stolen their parts. Meanwhile, Moriarty, also unable to break the fourth line, tortures Tobel for the name of the fourth scientist. Holmes deduces the change in the code and breaks the fourth line, identifying the scientist as Professor Frederick Hoffner (Henry Victor).

Moriarty accidentally deciphers the code. He sends agents to abduct Hoffner, who has the brilliance to put the four parts together should Tobel not recover from torture. The German agents bring the scientist, who is actually Holmes in disguise again, to Moriarty’s seemingly undetectable stronghold. Unknown to Moriarty, Holmes had the real Hoffner attach an apparatus to their car that drips luminous paint (which Watson helped prepare) at regular intervals. Holmes uses Moriarty’s vanity and pride to trick him into slowly bleeding Holmes to death “drop by drop”, to stall for time. Holmes is saved at the last minute, however, by Watson and Lestrade, who with Hoffner’s help, successfully followed the drops. Scotland Yard apprehends the spies, but Moriarty escapes. When he attempts to complete his escape through a secret passageway, he falls sixty feet to his death; Holmes has discovered the criminal’s hidden trap door and left it open.

This is the second Basil Rathbone “Sherlock Holmes” film in which Moriarty dies. He is thrown to his death from the top of the Tower of London by Holmes in 1939’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. During the course of the adventure, Holmes adopts the disguises of an elderly German bookseller (taken from the Arthur Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Empty House), the lascar sailor Ram Singh, and the Swiss scientist Professor Hoffner. His disguise as the bookseller was parodied in the film The Pink Panther. The film is a loose adaptation of The Adventure of the Dancing Men; while credited as an adaptation, the only content which bears similarity is the “dancing men” code.

Directed by Roy William Neil, produced by Howard Benedict, written by W. Scott Darling, based on “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, Lionel Atwill as Professor Moriarty, music by Frank Skinner.

Source: “Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes_and_the_Secret_Weapon.

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Sherlock Holmes | Terror By Night (1946) [Thriller]



Terror by Night is a 1946 Sherlock Holmes mystery film. It was directed by Roy William Neill, and stars Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.

In London, a young woman named Vivian Vedder (Renee Godfrey) verifies that a carpenter has completed a coffin for her recently deceased mother’s body, which she is transporting to Scotland by train. She boards the train that evening, as do Lady Margaret Carstairs (Mary Forbes), who owns and is transporting the famous Star of Rhodesia diamond; Lady Margaret’s son Roland (Geoffrey Steele); Holmes, whom Roland has hired to protect the diamond; Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey), who is also worried about the diamond’s safety; and Watson and his friend Major Duncan-Bleek (Alan Mowbray). Holmes briefly examines the diamond.

Shortly afterward, Roland is murdered and the diamond is stolen. Lestrade, Holmes, and Watson learn nothing conclusive in questioning the other passengers, and Holmes is pushed out of the train, nearly to his death, but he climbs back inside and discovers a secret compartment in the coffin carrying Miss Vedder’s mother. He suspects that one of the people on the train is the notorious jewel thief Colonel Sebastian Moran. Upon further questioning, Miss Vedder admits that a man paid her to transport the coffin. As Watson and Duncan-Bleek join the group, Holmes reveals that he swapped the diamond with an imitation while examining it. Lestrade takes possession of the real diamond.

In the luggage compartment, Holmes and Watson find a train guard murdered with a poisoned dart. Meanwhile, a street criminal named Sands (Skelton Knaggs) incapacitates the conductor. Sands was hidden inside the coffin, and is in cahoots with Duncan-Bleek, who is in fact Colonel Moran. Sands and Moran go to Lestrade’s room, where Sands knocks him unconscious and steals the diamond from him, but Moran double-crosses Sands, shooting him dead with the same dart gun he used to kill Roland and the guard.

The train makes an unexpected stop to pick up several Scottish policemen led by Inspector McDonald (Boyd Davis). Holmes informs McDonald that Duncan-Bleek is really Moran, and McDonald arrests Moran and finds the diamond in his vest, but Moran seizes a policeman’s gun and pulls the emergency cord to stop the train. During a scuffle in which the lights are turned off, Holmes subdues and handcuffs Moran, then secretly hides him under a table. When the lights are turned on again, the officers leave the train with Lestrade, his coat covering his face, believing he is Moran. As the train departs, Lestrade captures the thieves in the train station, and Holmes reveals to Watson and Moran that he recognized McDonald as an impostor and recovered the diamond from him during the fight.

Directed and produced by Roy William Neill, written by Frank Gruber, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, music by Hans Salter.

Source: “Terror by Night” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_by_Night.

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They Made Me a Killer (1946) BARARA BRITTON



Stars: Robert Lowery, Barbara Britton, Lola Lane
Director: William C. Thomas
Writers: Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay), Winston Miller (screenplay)

A young girl tries to prove a man innocent of robbery and murder charges.

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Dick Barton At Bay (1950)



Dick Barton (Don Stannard) and Snowey are forced into action once more when an undercover agent (Patrick Macnee) is murdered while passing on a coded message. A chilling new invention capable of producing a “death ray” has been stolen by the Russians. Barton is forced to fake his own death in a race against time to recover the device from enemy hands…

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C-Man (1949) DEAN JAGGER



Stars: Dean Jagger, John Carradine and Lottie Elwen
Director: Joseph Lerner
Writer: Berne Giler (screenplay)

A Treasury Department agent is murdered. His best friend, a fellow agent, investigates and stumbles into a scheme involving smuggling and murder.

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The Boss of Big Town (1942) CRIME DRAMA



Stars: John Litel, Florence Rice and H.B. Warner
Director: Arthur Dreifuss
Writers: Edward Dein (screenplay), Arthur Hoerl (original story)

A criminal plot to control produce and dairy products during the wartime emergency is foiled by an courageous undercover city market official.

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The Manxman



The Manxman (1929) is a silent film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on an 1896 romantic novel The Manxman by Hall Caine, the director began work on the film just two weeks after the birth of his daughter, Patricia Hitchcock. This was the last silent film Hitchcock directed before he made the transition to sound film with his next film Blackmail. The Manxman was filmed almost entirely in the small fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall.

The film tells the story of two childhood friends, a poor fisherman, Pete Quilliam (Carl Brisson), and a lawyer, Philip Christian (Malcolm Keen). Pete is in love with Kate (Anny Ondra), but when her father, Old Caesar (Randie Ayrton), refuses to consent to their marriage, Pete sets off for Africa to make his fortune, asking Philip to take care of Kate until he returns. In his absence, Kate and Philip fall in love. When news reaches them that Pete was killed, they begin planning their lives together, as Philip prepares to assume the position of Deemster, the island’s chief magistrate. The news is false however, and Pete returns to the island a wealthy man. Old Caesar agrees to let Kate marry him, and neither she nor Philip have it in them to break Pete’s heart. As the wedding party proceeds in an old mill, Old Caesar sternly warns the newlyweds to remember how serious the vows of marriage are.

Kate is still in love with Philip. Shortly after a daughter is born, she decides to leave Pete, leaving him both the child and a note saying that she loves another man. However, Philip is about to become the Deemster and is unwilling to give up his career for her. Frustrated, she returns to Pete to take the baby, telling him that he is not the father, but he refuses to believe her or hand the child over. Distraught, Kate leaves and attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself off the quay, a crime on the Isle of Man. Kate is brought to trial on the first day that Philip serves as Deemster. He is reluctant to sentence her, and when Pete appears in the courtroom to plead for his wife, he agrees to hand her over to him. Kate refuses to go, and Old Caesar, who is watching, gets up and condemns Philip for being the “other man”. Philip admits this and leaves the court. In the final scene, Philip and Kate prepare to leave the Isle of Man and come to Pete’s house to pick up the baby. In a shot reminiscent of the theater, Kate picks up the child, while Philip and Pete stand at opposite ends of the room. She brings the child over to Pete to say one last goodbye, and he breaks down, having lost everything. Philip and Kate leave the cottage to the jeers of the villagers, who have been watching the scene.

The film has different names in various countries. The original UK title is “The Manxman”. In Italy the film is known as “L’isola del peccato”, in Spain the name of the movie is “El hombre de la isla de Man”, in Portugal it’s “Pobre Pete!”, in Germany “Der Mann von der Insel Man”, in Hungary it’s “A Man-szigeti ember”, in Denmark it’s “Manboen”, in Finland it’s “Man saaren tuomari” or “Mansaaren tuomari”, in Greece it’s “Exileosis dikaiou” and in Argentinia and Venezuela the move is known as “La isla del pecado”.

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Bodyguard (1948)



Homicide detective Mike Carter is tossed off the police force for insubordination and violating regulations. He reluctantly takes a job as bodyguard to Mrs. Gene Dysen, the owner of a local meat-packing plant. In investigating threats against her life, Carter begins unraveling the murder of a meat inspector at the plant, but not before he himself is framed for the murder of his former supervisor on the police force.

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GANGSTER STORY (1959) Walter Matthau



Walter Matthau directed and starred in this low budget crime thriller. He plays Jack a big citty hood who hides out in a small town where he pulls of a daring daylight bank robbery. He now has both the local cops and the FBI on his tail but the loacl hoods are slso a bit annoyed that he pulled of such a robbery without cutting them in. He tries one more robbery of a golf course and wants to go to Mexico the retire with his girl.

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