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The Spider Woman (1943)

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of so-called "pajama suicides". He knows the female villain behind them is as cunning as Moriarty and as venomous as a spider.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Bertram Millhauser (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (story) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Gale Sondergaard ... Adrea Spedding
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Vernon Downing Vernon Downing ... Norman Locke
Alec Craig ... Radlik
Arthur Hohl ... Gilflower
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sylvia Andrew Sylvia Andrew ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
Marie De Becker Marie De Becker ... Charwoman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes takes on a case that the press has dubbed the pajama suicides. Eminent men are going to bed in the safety of their own homes, with everything seemingly being normal, only to commit suicide in the night. Holmes fakes his own death in the hopes of giving him a freer hand in the investigation and is convinced that a woman, a female Moriarty as he describes her, is behind the deaths. The dead men were all eminent and very wealthy. He impersonates a wealthy retired Indian military officer in the hope of drawing out the woman and he soon meets Adrea Spedding but she quickly sees through his disguise and proves herself to be the challenge Holmes predicted she would be. She is a worthy adversary and soon traps him setting him up in a carnival shooting gallery that seems to assure his death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here is crawling death sent to Sherlock Holmes by the most fiendish killer of all... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes in the Spider Woman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Holmes becomes suspicious that the criminal he is pursuing has been using some species of spider to perpetrate crimes. He calls on the assistance of expert Adam Gilflower of the Institute of Entomology, who identifies the spider as a Lycosa carnivora, and states that it is the most dangerous insect on earth. An expert would know that spiders are arachnids, not insects. Lycosa is the name of the genus for wolf spiders, but there is no species with the name Lycosa carnivora. Further, entomology is properly the study of insects, while arachnology is the study of spiders and related animals such as scorpions. See more »

Goofs

Insurance companies won't pay off on suicide, yet the Spider Woman deliberately makes these murders look like suicide to collect on the life insurance. In reality she wouldn't collect a dime. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
News Vendor: Read all about the pyjama suicide. Here you are, governor. Thank you, sir. Thank you. Read all about it, another pyjama suicide.
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Connections

Followed by The Woman in Green (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of Sherlock's best
8 September 1999 | by bwaynefSee all my reviews

The fifth installment in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series and one of the best. "Spider Woman" finds Basil Rathbone matching wits with the enticing title character, superbly played by the beautiful Gale Sondergaard. Rathbone's Holmes is brilliant as always, but even Nigel Bruce's Dr. Watson is permitted to show some brains for once in this immensely entertaining mystery. A good show all around, although this series would really hit its peak with the next episode, "The Scarlet Claw."


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