The Secret Weapon and The Scarlet Claw Double Feature
Directed by William Neill. US. 1942/44. NR. 142 minutes.
Sun., May 11, 2008
After two expensively mounted Holmes adventures for 20th Century Fox (including last week’s classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles), Rathbone and Bruce moved over to the more budget-minded (but more gothicly inclined) Universal Studios. For budgetary reasons, Holmes was updated to more modern times, where he matched wits with Nazis, spies and modern-day murderers. The two classic Universal Holmes films presented today are considered to be among the very best of the series. In the former (based loosely on the Holmes story “The Adventure of The Dancing Men”), Holmes is up against his archrival, the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarity (played with supremely evil cunning by Lionel Atwell), as they struggle over a bomb sight that could change the course of the war. In our second feature, considered by many to be the best of the Universal series, our heroes are in a fog- and superstition-drenched Canadian village, on the trail of a fiendish serial killer who stalks the moors, committing ghostly and ghastly murders. Will they catch him in time? “Elementary, my dear Watson.”