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The House of Fear (1945)

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Roy Chanslor (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (story "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Doctor Watson
Aubrey Mather ... Alastair
Dennis Hoey ... Lestrade
Paul Cavanagh ... Simon Merrivale
Holmes Herbert ... Alan Cosgrave
Harry Cording ... John Simpson
Sally Shepherd Sally Shepherd ... Mrs. Monteith
Gavin Muir ... Chalmers
Florette Hillier Florette Hillier ... Alison MacGregor
David Clyde ... Alex MacGregor
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Storyline

Seven rich men retire to a Scottish castle and promptly begin to die in violent fashion. Each death is preceded by the delivery of orange pips to the next target. As all the likely victims are heaviliy insured, Sherlock Holmes is asked by the insurance companies to investigate. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HORROR stalking its halls!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear 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

The tenth of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. See more »

Goofs

Holmes enters a bedroom with his pipe in his mouth (as show from the side/behind). The next shot (immediately after) is from the inside of the second room and shows him with his pipe in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chalmers: [narrating] The events I'm about to relate began a fortnight ago. In a grim old house perched high on a cliff on the west coast of Scotland. This singular structure is known as Driercliff House. Gathered there for dinner were the seven members of a most extraordinary club called the Good Comrades. Into this unique gathering came their melancholy housekeeper, Mrs. Monteith, bearing a message for Ralph King, a retired barrister. King received it... casually. When they saw the contents...
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Connections

Follows The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very good Sherlock story
8 July 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The House of Fear" is a highly enjoyable entry into the Sherlock Holmes series. It stars Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Paul Cavanagh and Dennis Hoey. Sherlock and Watson go to Scotland to investigate the murders of members of the "Good Comrades Club" - before they die, they receive an envelope containing orange pips (seeds); shortly afterward, they are brutally murdered beyond recognition.

There is a Sherlock Holmes story called "The Five Orange Pips," but this is only very loosely the Conan Doyle plot. Nevertheless, it has all the great mystery elements - a large, old dark house, rainstorms and things that go bump in the night.

One of the faults of this series was the casting of Nigel Bruce who was then directed to act like an idiot. Also, some of the scripts have Holmes being very condescending toward Watson or making fun of him. In "The House of Fear," neither of these things occur, at least as broadly. Holmes seems not only genuinely concerned about his friend but very fond of him as well.

Rathbone is one of the best actors to play Holmes and looks the part - for the most part, the whole series is enjoyable, and this one is a cut above average.


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