The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Watch The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

"The struggle of super-minds in the crime of the century!"
  • Approved
  • 1939
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 7.3  (7,436)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a 1939 film starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, Nigel Bruce as Dr. John Watson, and Ida Lupino as Ann Brandon, the film's leading lady. Directed by Alfred L. Werker, this movie is loosely-based on a collection of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring perhaps his most well-known character, the brilliant and eccentric detective, Sherlock Holmes.

The film follows Sherlock Holmes as he becomes deeply embroiled in a case involving Ann Brandon and her disabled brother, Lloyd. It turns out that Lloyd is in possession of a secret document that could prove to be very valuable, and several people are keen to get their hands on it. Among them is Professor Moriarty, Holmes' arch-nemesis, who will stop at nothing to obtain this document. It is up to Holmes and Dr. Watson to uncover the truth behind the document and protect Lloyd from those who wish him harm.

Basil Rathbone's performance as Sherlock Holmes is one of the defining features of this movie. He perfectly captures the character's intellectual superiority and deductive reasoning abilities while also demonstrating the idiosyncrasies that make Holmes such a fascinating and complex figure. His co-star, Nigel Bruce, provides a wonderful foil to Rathbone's Holmes, as the affable and bumbling Dr. Watson, whose loyalty to his friends is unwavering.

Ida Lupino delivers a strong performance as Ann Brandon, the film's only significant female character. She is the object of Holmes' affections, and the two characters share several memorable and emotionally resonant scenes. However, Lupino's character is not simply a passive love-interest. She is resourceful and brave, with a strong sense of loyalty to her brother, and she plays an integral role in the plot's resolution.

The plot of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is well-constructed and engaging, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience on their toes. The screenplay is cleverly adapted from Conan Doyle's original stories, which are known for their intricate plots and unexpected plot developments. The film's pacing is brisk, with no slow moments that would detract from the tension and excitement of the narrative.

The film's art direction and set design are also noteworthy. The production team successfully recreates the atmosphere of Victorian London, with detailed and immersive sets that transport the viewer back in time. The film's costume design is similarly impressive, with the characters' outfits perfectly capturing the styles of the late 19th century.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the film's use of lighting and cinematography. The film's black-and-white aesthetic is utilized to great effect, with shadows and contrasts used to create a sense of darkness and ambiguity. This is particularly true in the scenes involving Moriarty, where low-key lighting and unusual camera angles create a sense of unease and foreboding.

Overall, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is an excellent example of a classic Hollywood mystery film. The performances are strong, the plot is engaging, and the atmosphere is immersive. It remains a remarkable showcase for Basil Rathbone's iconic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, who remains one of the most enduring and beloved characters in popular culture today.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a 1939 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Where to Watch The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (7,436)