Posts Tagged ‘roy william neill’

Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Sherlock Holmes – The House of Fear

Tagline – HORROR stalking its halls!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Dr. John H. Watson), Aubrey Mather (Bruce Alastair), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade).

Released – March, 1945

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Mr. Chalmers, an insurance agent, visits Holmes with a very strange tale indeed. It seems that a group of seven elderly, single gentlemen, who call themselves “The Good Comrades,” have taken up residence in an old Scottish castle.

One of the gentlemen has recently had delivered to him an envelope containing only seven orange pips. Later that evening his body was found murdered and mutilated. A few days later another envelope was delivered to one of the men and this time contained only six orange pips. That second man has also mysteriously died, with his body found battered at the base of some cliffs.

Mr. Chalmers insurance company has policies on each of the gentlemen living in the castle and he believes that one of the men is responsible for the deaths of the others in order to collect on the insurance proceeds. Chalmers is hoping that Holmes will aid in the investigation.

Holmes is happy of oblige, as the case intrigues him, but when Holmes and Watson arrive at the castle they find another body waiting. Unable to put a stop to the continuing murders, three more are killed with the bodies of each virtually unrecognizable.

One remains, Mr. Bruce Alastair, and Inspector Lestrade is convinced that he is the killer. But, something just doesn’t add up for Holmes and he is not so sure of Alastair’s guilt.

NOTABLE: The House of Fear is the tenth film in the Sherlock Holmes series to star Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

Towards the end of the film, as Watson notices the tobacco urn is empty, the wolf’s head cane from The Wolf Man (1941) can be seen leaning against the back wall.

The Black Room

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Boris Karloff Collection – 6 Movie Set: The Black Room, The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, Before I Hang, The Devil Commands, and The Boogie Man Will Get You

Tagline – He was a demon of death… whose mysterious chambers held gruesome secrets!

Starring – Boris Karloff (Baron Gregor de Berghman/Anton de Berghman), Marian Marsh (Thea Hassel), Robert Allen (Lt. Albert Lussan), Thurston Hall (Col. Paul Hassel).

Released – July, 1935

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Description – Anton and Gregor de Berghman are twin brothers, and according to prophecy, Anton will kill his brother in the Black Room of the family castle. Threats to Gregor’s life are nothing new, as his subjects have made many attempts on his life due to his ruthless tyranny as their baron.

After being away for ten years, the good-natured Anton returns and easily earns the respect of his brothers subjects. He also earns the admiration of Col. Hassel, uncle of the beautiful Thea.

The evil Gregor goes too far when he murders young servant Mashka. The subjects have had enough, and storm the Berghman castle determined to remove Gregor from power. In an effort to save his own life, Gregor agrees to step down and turn his power over to his popular brother Anton.

However, there is no end to the diabolical plotting of Gregor as he kills his brother in order to assume his identity, return to power, and have the beautiful Thea’s hand in marriage with the mistaken blessings of her father Col. Hassel.

It doesn’t take too long for Col. Hassel to become suspicious of the new Anton and his suspicions result in his own murder.

Thea is in love with Lt. Albert Lussan, who has been framed for the murder of Col. Hassel, and finds herself now at the mercy of the baron. While it looks as though nothing can save her from having to marry the baron, and in spite of Anton’s murder, there is still a prophecy to be fulfilled!

The Pearl of Death

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death

Tagline – The Secret Of The Gem Of Doom!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade), Evelyn Ankers (Naomi Drake), Miles Mander (Giles Conover).

Released – August, 1944

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Sherlock Holmes is embarrassed and on the spot. The famous “Borgia Pearl” has been stolen right under his nose from the Royal Regent Museum by master criminal Giles Conover.

Conover is captured, but does not have the pearl resulting in his release. Shortly thereafter, an elderly Colonel is brutally murdered, with his body found in a pile of smashed china, and there appears to be no motive.

The nature of the crime arouses Holmes’ suspicion that the murder may be the work of “The Hoxton Creeper” known to be the right-hand man of Giles Conover. Another murder takes place as the body of an elderly woman is found… also surrounded by a pile of smashed china.

Now, Holmes himself becomes the target as two attempts are made on his life. It is now his belief that Conover is trying to again find the valuable pearl. A third killing takes place and a link to the murders is now realized. It is a bust of Napoleon.

After stealing the pearl, and trying to elude the police, Conover fled through a workshop and hid the pearl inside the china bust of Napoleon. There were six in the workshop at the time and Conover is trying to find the right one and will kill anyone in his way.

The Scarlet Claw

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Sherlock Holmes – The Scarlet Claw

Tagline – There’s Blood On The Moon Tonight!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Gerald Hamer (Alistair Ramson), Paul Cavanagh (Lord Penrose).

Released – May, 1944

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Sherlock Holmes and friend Doctor Watson are attending a conference in Quebec City. While there, Holmes is given a note from Lady Penrose who resides in the nearby village of La Mort Rouge.

The note reveals Lady Penrose to be in fear for her life and she asks for Holmes help. Unknown to the great detective is the fact that it is already too late. Lady Penrose has had her throat torn out.

The nature of the murder has the villagers spreading rumors about a monster being responsible for the vicious killing. The village has a history of believing in a legendary monster that roams the surrounding marshes.

These belief’s are preposterous to Holmes and he sets out to find a human killer. The investigation leads Holmes to believe that the killing may not have been a random one. It appears as though there will be a systematic string of murders.

Holmes begins to believe that the killer walks among the villagers pretending to innocently be one of them. He has a suspect in mind, someone who it was believed was killed during a prison break, and happens to be a master of disguise.

NOTABLE: Universal Studio’s produced twelve films in its Sherlock Holmes series, and it is now generally considered that The Scarlet Claw is the best of the bunch.

Basil Rathbone’s last words, drowned out by the films music, appear to be “God bless him” (a reference to Winston Churchill).


Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Tagline – As Startling as a Scream in the Night!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade), Arthur Margetson (Doctor Bob Sexton), Hillary Brooke (Sally Musgrave).

Released – September, 1943

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Doctor Watson has volunteered his services as resident doctor at Musgrave Manor. The stately home is being used as a hospital to treat ex-soldiers who suffer from shell shock.

When Dr. Bob Sexton, the owner of Musgrage Manor, is attacked and wounded, Watson summons the help of his friend Sherlock Holmes. Things go from bad to worse, as the first of what will be a series of murders takes place.

The reason for the murders at first is not clear with the only connection being to an ancient family ritual. However, a little more investigation by Holmes uncovers the existence of a hidden land grant that will bring fabulous wealth to whoever has it in their possesson.

Shadows and fog, dark family secrets, a strange clock tower, a human chessboard, and a scary crypt, add to the pleasure of this entertaining entry in the series of Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

NOTABLE: Sherlock Holmes Faces Death was the sixth of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s fiction detective.