The Woman in Green (1945)

Article #1298 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-3-2004
Posting Date: 3-2-2005
Directed by Roy William Neill
Featuring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hllary Brooke

Sherlock Holmes is called in by Scotland Yard to help investigate a series of murders of women in which the victims’ right forefingers are cut off.

One of my source books for fantastic films includes all of the Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone because the compiler decided to include all movies of any series which did have fantastic elements in some of the entries. That explains why the book included PURSUIT TO ALGIERS, which has no fantastic elements. This is, however, one of the series which has definite horror elements; the gruesome serial killer element is one, of course, and the other is the role that hypnotism plays in the story. Still, I should point out that the movie doesn’t play up its horror elements, and remains very much a mystery. It’s efficient and highly entertaining, with Henry Daniell well cast as Moriarty, and Rathbone and Bruce up to their usual level. Bruce is particularly buffoonish in this outing, and gets his comeuppance when he tries to prove that hypnotism is a sham. I’d actually seen some of the Rathbone Holmes movies years ago, but I didn’t remember them well enough to know which ones I’ve seen. I did, however, remember a scene involving the ledge of a tall building, and it’s here in this movie.

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