The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American mystery film with some horror elements directed by Alfred Werker.

Plot Summary

Professor Moriarity attempts to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London and only Sherlock Holmes can stop him while he also investigates what appears to be a family curse.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Alfred Werker
Copyright MCMXXXIX by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Twentieth Century-Fox presents. Released through Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
In Charge of Production: Darryl F. Zanuck
Associate Producer: Gene Markey
Screen Play by: Edwin Blum, William Drake
Based on the Play Sherlock Holmes by: William Gillette
Based on Characters Created by: Arthur Conan Doyle *
Director of Photography: Leon Shamroy
Film Editor: Robert Bischoff
Musical Direction: Cyril J. Mockridge
Sound: W.D. Flick, Roger Heman
Costumes: Gwen Wakeling
Art Direction: Richard Day, Hans Peters
Set Decorations: Thomas Little

Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes)
Nigel Bruce (Dr Watson)
Ida Lupino (Ann Brandon)
Alan Marshal (Jerrold Hunter)
Terry Kilburn (Billy)
George Zucco (Professor Moriarty)
Henry Stephenson (Sir Ronald Ramsgate)
E.E. Clive (Inspector Bristol)
Arthur Hohl (Bassick)
May Beatty (Mrs Jameson)
Peter Willes (Lloyd Brandon)
Mary Gordon (Mrs Hudson)
Holmes Herbert (justice)
George Regas (Mateo)
Mary Forbes (Lady Conyngham)
Frank Dawson (Dawes)
William Austin (stranger)
Anthony Kemble Cooper (Tony [Conyngham])

Alternative Titles

Die Abenteuer des Sherlock Holmes – German title
As Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes – Brazilian title
Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes – Mexican, Spanish title
Le avventure di Sherlock Holmes – Italian title
Les aventures de Sherlock Holmes – French title
Királyi ékszer – Hungarian title
Przygody Sherlocka Holmesa – Polish title
Sherlock Holmes – Professor Moriartys sista strid – Swedish title
Sherlock Holmes – professor Moriatys sista dag – Swedish Finnish television title
Sherlock Holmes Contra Moriarty – Portuguese title
Sherlock Holmes contra Moriarty – Spanish title
Sherlock Holmes – Brazilian title, Danish, French, Greek re-release, Hungarian, UK title
Sherlock Holmes: Moriartyn Kukistaja – Finnish title
Sherlock Holmesin seikkailut – Finnish television title
Ta margaritaria tou thanatou – Greek title
Приключения Шерлока Холмса – Russian title

Sequel to
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

The Spider Woman (1943)
The Scarlet Claw (1944)
The Pearl of Death (1944)
The Woman in Green (1945)

Extracts included in
AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes: America's Greatest Quips, Comebacks and Catchphrases (2005)
A Bit of Scarlet (1997)
The Real Sherlock Holmes (2012)
Sleepy Hollow: Behind the Legend (2000)
Timeshift: A Study in Sherlock (2005)
Timeshift: Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: The Rise of Martial Arts in Britain (2013)



  • Empire no.188 (February 2005) pp.148-149 – illustrated DVD review (RWD: Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Kim Newman)
  • Film Daily 5 September 1939 p.6 – review
  • Hollywood Reporter 19 August 1939 p.3 – review
  • Hollywood Spectator 2 September 1939 vol.14 p.14 – review
  • Kine Weekly no.1705 (21 December 1939) – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.7 no.73 (January 1940) p.7 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald 26 August 1939 p.55 – review
  • Today's Cinema vol.53 no.4354 (20 December 1939) – credits, review


  • Basil Rathbone: His Life and His Films by Michael B. Druxman pp.220-225
  • The Film Criticism of Otis Ferguson by by Robert Wilson (ed.) p.271
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.17 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.2-3
  • by Walt Lee p.4 – credits
  • Sound Films, 1927-1939: A United States Filmography Volume 1 by Alan G. Fetrow p.4 – credits, review