On February 1st…

Terror by Night 1946Something a little different today: rather than a Canonical happening, an event in the Sherlockian world 71 years ago today.

February 1, 1946: The world premiere of the film Terror by Night, the thirteenth film (of fourteen) in the Sherlock Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

The film borrowed elements from Canonical stories, including poisoned darts from THE SIGN OF FOUR. The film also borrowed from “THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE” with the introduction of Colonel Sebastian Moran and the full name of the murdered first victim. The film lastly borrowed from “THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LADY OF FRANCES CARFAX” with the use of an oversized coffin that fits two people stacked up.

Watson was played in typical Bruce style, unfortunately. I liked the film – how about the rest of the Watsonians?

4 Replies to “On February 1st…”

  1. This is one of only two or three Rathbone/Bruce films I’ve seen. (Sadly, we lost the cable channel that was playing them for a while. I learned this by recording a couple hours of blank screen and a notice that “You do not receive this channel. Contact your provider.” D’oh!) I enjoyed it, but it didn’t leave much of an impression, I’m afraid.

    Fun fact I didn’t notice but found out on IMDB: the first victim is named Roland Carstairs, but Rathbone slips and says “Ronald” instead at one point. Perhaps he was thinking of the Canonical victim in EMPT, the Honourable Ronald Adair?

  2. With the exception of THE HOUSE OF FEAR, it was my favorite of the Rathbone / Bruce films.

  3. I enjoy the Rathbone/Bruce radio plays far more than the films, on the whole, but I enjoy the films for the nostalgia feel. I do enjoy this one- this is the one with Lestrade and the fishing pole, right?

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