6.9/10
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Terror by Night (1946)

When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writers:

Frank Gruber (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (adapted from a story by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce ... Dr. John H. Watson
Alan Mowbray ... Maj. Duncan-Bleek
Dennis Hoey ... Inspector Lestrade
Renee Godfrey ... Vivian Vedder
Frederick Worlock ... Prof. William Kilbane (as Frederic Worlock)
Mary Forbes ... Lady Margaret Carstairs
Skelton Knaggs ... Sands
Billy Bevan ... Train Attendant
Geoffrey Steele Geoffrey Steele ... Roland Carstairs
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Storyline

Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to prevent the theft of the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond owned by Carstairs' mother, Lady Margaret. Believing the diamond will be stolen on a train trip from London to Edinburgh, Holmes deftly switches diamonds with Lady Margaret while in her compartment. Soon after, Roland is murdered and the fake diamond is stolen. Red herrings abound as Holmes, aided by Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade, discover the murderer's hiding place and deduce that long-time foe Moriarty's henchman Colonel Sebastian Moran is somehow involved in the crime. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MURDER... at 90 Miles an Hour! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night 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

Some of the actors playing "minor" characters use stage theatrical "ethnic" accents which are quite clearly not their own. The accents are probably actually meant to be UK English, and presumably Scottish, or the country the character is meant to be from, but end up sounding like criminals attempting an accent they clearly can't master, unlike Sherlock Holmes' character accents. One notable example is the grieving daughter, with an accent that drifts all over Europe. This gives the story an edge of more potential suspect criminals than there actually is. See more »

Goofs

The exterior shots of the train show different trains, including a model and a continental locomotive. At various times running wrong track on double track lines (UK runs on the left); numbers of carriages increase and decrease; carriage livery incorrect for LMS in 1946 (or earlier), should be LMS single colour "crimson lake"; one carriage seems to be all white (and disappears later); an overhead shot of clerestory roofed trains running wrong track, whilst all the other views are arc roofed, whether model or interior shots. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Thank you, Lady Margaret. We'll be as unobtrusive as possible.
Lady Margaret Carstairs: That would be a novelty from a policeman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In some prints, scenes are repeated at the conclusion to illustrate Holmes' explanation scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Sherlock Holmes Express
1 September 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

I'm especially fond of this late entry in the Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes series of the forties. It's one of the more cheaply made ones, set almost entirely aboard as fast-moving train. The story concerns Holmes' efforts to make sure that a valuable diamond, the Star Of Rhodesia, does not get stolen. There are some awfully suspicious characters around, some of them quite cranky. Holmes is his usual unflappable self, Watson bumbles and enrages people, Inspector LeStrade is his always stupid and yet somehow reassuring self. The supporting cast is, as usual for this series, exceedingly well-chosen. Skelton Knaggs makes the most of his small role. I especially like Alan Mowbray's performance as a fellow who pals around with Watson. Mowbray was smooth as silk as an actor, and in his languid way as sharp as Rathbone. The revelation of the criminal and the circumstances surrounding it are handled in a manner surprisingly baroque even for a Sherlock Holmes film, and are so sudden and jarring,--one doesn't expect the movie to end quite this way--that the ending actually improves on the second and third viewing. How many films can you say that about?


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