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Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear (1945)

Country of Origin: USA
Year of Production: 1945
Running Times: 69 mins 69 mins 21 sec (UK - theatrical)
Format: black and white 35mm
Ratio: 1.37:1
Sound: mono

CREDITS

PRODUCTION
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Producer: Roy William Neill

SCRIPT
Script: Roy Chanslor
Story: The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

DIRECTION
Director: Roy William Neill
Assistant Director: Melville Shyer

PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Photography: Virgil Miller

EDITING AND POST PRODUCTION
Editor: Saul Goodkind

MUSIC
Musical Director: Paul Sawtell
Music: Hans J. Salter

SOUND
Sound: Bernard B. Brown
Sound Technician: Wm. Hedgcock

DESIGN AND SET CONSTRUCTION
Art Directors: John B. Goodman, Eugène Lourié
Set Decorators: Russell A. Gausman, E.R. Robinson

MISCELLANEOUS
Dialogue Director: Raymond Kessler

CAST
Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes)
Nigel Bruce (Dr John H. Watson)
Aubrey Mather (Alastair)
Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade)
Paul Cavanagh (Dr Simon Merivale)
Holmes Herbert (Alan Cosgrave)
Harry Cording (Captain John Simpson)
Sally Shepard (Mrs Monteith)
Gavin Muir (Mr Chalmers)
Florette Hillier (Alison MacGregor)
David Clyde (Alex MacGregor)
Richard Alexander (Ralph King - uncredited)
Wilson Benge (Guy Davies - uncredited)
Alec Craig (Angus - uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti (Stanley Raeburn - uncredited)
Leslie Denison (Sergeant Bleeker - uncredited)
Doris Lloyd (Bessie - uncredited)
Hobart Cavanaugh, David Thursby (bit parts - uncredited)

SUMMARY

The exclusive gentlemen's club The Good Comrades are being murdered one by one at the ominously named Drearcliff, the ancestral home of their oldest member Bruce Alastair. Each murder is presaged by the arrival of an envelope addressed to the future victim and containing nothing but orange pips. Enter Holmes and Watson...

CAPSULE REVIEW

Although it has some fine attributes (unusual lighting, a fantastically creepy location, a strong collection of eccentric supporting characters), House of Fear is a rather dull affair in which Holmes takes far too long to solve what is in truth a rather mundane mystery. It remains watchable thanks to Neill's moody direction but the series was clearly beginning to lose its way by now.

AVAILABILITY

UK
Theatrical Distributor: General Film Distributors

USA
Theatrical Distributor: MCA / Universal Pictures
Video Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment

CENSORSHIP HISTORY

Finland
Rating: K-12

UK
Rating: A

TIMELINE

1944
November

10: UK - rated A by the BBFC (for theatrical release)

1945
March

16: USA - theatrical release

May
Day Unknown: UK - theatrical release

1948
December

10: Finland - theatrical release

1954
October

8: USA - television broadcast (on CBS)

1960
May

5: UK - television broadcast (on Rediffusion)

1993
March

10: USA - video release (Fox Home Entertainment)

2000
June

29: UK - television broadcast (on BBC2)

POSTER TAGS

6 guests of death!

Walls of hate... holding an orgy of murder - as crime's Master Minds crack their weirdest case!

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

La casa del miedo - Spain title
La casa del terrore - Italian title
Das Haus des Schreckens - German title
The House of Fear - UK title
Ihmeitten linna - Finnish title

LINKS

SEQUEL TO
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)
Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)
Spider Woman (1944)
The Scarlet Claw (1944)

SEQUELS
Pursuit to Algiers (1945)
The Woman in Green (1945)
Terror by Night (1946)
Dressed to Kill (1946)

REFERENCES

MAGAZINES

The Dark Side 63 p.26 (UK)
review

Kine Weekly 31 May 1945 (UK)
review

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.12 no.138 (June 1945) p.73 (UK)
credits, review

Motion Picture Herald vol.158 no.12 (24 March 1945) (USA)
credits

New York Motion Picture Critics Reviews vol.2 no.8 (19 March 1945) pp.439, 440 (USA)
credits, review

Today's Cinema vol.64 no.5191 (25 May 1945) (UK)
review

BOOKS

Universal Horrors by Michael Brunas, John Brunas and Tom Weaver (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co (1990))
credits, review

KEYWORDS

Sherlock Holmes; detectives; sequels

 


Last Updated: 10 August, 2009

 


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