The Scarlet Claw (1944)

70m 34s (UK – video), 73m 58s (UK – theatrical)
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Roy William Neill. It is the eighth in a series of films featuring Basil Rathbone as and Nigel Bruce as Watson.

Plot Summary

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson travel to Canada to attend a convention on the occult and wind up in the small village of La Mort Rouge investigating a series of murders in which the victims are found with their throats ripped open. Could the culprit really be the sinister glowing monster that the locals claim is stalking the surrounding marshes?


* = uncredited

Directed by: Roy William Neill
Copyright MCMXLIV [1944] by Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Universal presents a Universal picture
Produced by: Roy William Neill
Screen Play by: Edmund L. Hartmann, Roy William Neill
Original Story by: Paul Gangelin and Brenda Weisberg
Based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Dialogue Director: Stacy Keach
Director of Photography: George Robinson
Film Editor: Paul Landres
Musical Director: Paul Sawtell
Music: Hans J. Salter *, Charles Previn *, Paul Sawtell *, Frank Skinner *
Director of Sound: Bernard B. Brown
Technician: Robert Pritchard
Western Electric Recording
Special Photography by: John P. Fulton
Technician: Robert Pritchard *
Art Direction: John B. Goodman, Ralph M. DeLacy
Set Decorations: Russell A. Gausman, Ira S. Webb

Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes)
Nigel Bruce (Doctor [John H.] Watson)
Gerald Hamer (Potts/Tanner/Ramson)
Paul Cavanagh (Lord William Penrose)
Arthur Hohl (Emile Journet)
Miles Mander (Judge Brisson)
Kay Harding (Marie Journet)
David Clyde (Sergeant Thompson)
Ian Wolfe (Drake)
Victoria Horne (Nora)
Harry Allen [Bill Taylor] *
Gertrude Astor [Lady Lillian Gentry Pennington] *
Charles Francis [Sir John] *
Olaf Hytten [day desk clerk] *
George Kirby [Father Pierre] *
Norbert Muller [page-boy] *
Pietro Sosso [Andy Trent] *
Eric Wilton [evening desk clerk] *

Alternative Titles

L'artiglio scarlatto – Italian title
Die Kralle – German title
Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw



  • Kine Weekly no.1948 (17 August 1944) – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.11 p.106 – credits, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.155 no.5 (29 April 1944) – review
  • Movie Maker May 1977 p.382 – review (Bootlace cinema by Bill Davison)
  • New York Motion Picture Critics Reviews vol.1 no.3 (29 May 1944) pp.369, 370 – credits, review
  • Today's Cinema vol.63 no.5070 (11 August 1944) – review


  • Classic Movie Monsters by Don Glut p.19 – review
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.336 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.339 – credits
  • by Walt Lee p.420 – credits
  • Universal Horrors by Michael Brunas, John Brunas and Tom Weaver – credits, review

Other sources

  • press kit – credits