Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Release year: 1942
Director: Roy William neill
Screenwriter: Edward T. Lowe, Scott Darling, Edmund L. Hartmann, Arthur Conan Doyle (based on the story ‘The Dancing Men’ by)
Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel bruce, Lionel Atwill, Kaaren Verne, William Post Jr., Dennis Hoey, Holmes Herbert
After helping a Swiss inventor (Post Jr.) escape from war-stricken mainland, Holmes (Rathbone) must protect him and his invention from falling into German hands. But then an old enemy enters the scene.
The Secret Weapon is only the fourth out of fourteen times Basil Rathbone (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938) and Nigel Bruce (Rebecca, 1940) played Homes and Watson, but the two already have their characters in place. The Ratbone/Bruce movies saw the stories placed in the, at that time, present day, which is never more evident than here, where much of the story centers around World War II. Whether it is the serious matter of the World War or just a coincidence, the coziness of this Holmes feature film appears bleaker than most of the other movies in the series. Bruce has a little less to do in a movie that relies heavily on Rathbone, both as he is in Switzerland in the beginning and later when he is in the hands of his deadly arch-enemy Moriarty (Atwill). Not the finest of the Rathbone/Bruce collaborations but an entertaining classic crime.
One of several titles in the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes series whose copyrights have not been renewed meaning it have fallen into public domain.
Although credited as based on the Holmes short story ‘The Dancing Men’, the only resemblance is the secret code used.
The set used for Professor Moriarty’s hide out was reused from ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942). But it was the only thing reused, the actor Lionel Atwill who plays Professor Moriarty played James Mortimer in ‘The Hound of the Baskerville’s (1939).