The Return Of Sherlock Holmes

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Mystery

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective made his first speaking appearance in this otherwise unmemorable effort. Morey is the sleuth's old nemesis, now the head of a "radio-tapping" ring, who kills one of his underlings with a poisoned needle hidden in a cigarette case by evil cohort and surgeon Crisp. Later the captain of the ship on which Crisp works...read more

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective made his first speaking appearance in this otherwise unmemorable effort. Morey is the sleuth's old nemesis, now the head of a "radio-tapping" ring, who kills one of his underlings with a poisoned needle hidden in a cigarette case by evil cohort

and surgeon Crisp. Later the captain of the ship on which Crisp works as ship's doctor is murdered by the gang, which plans to set up headquarters on board. When the captain's son, Holmes, comes to investigate he is kidnaped and held aboard the ship, bound for America. His sudden disappearance in

the wake of his father's murder leads the police to suspect him. Lawford, Holmes' girl friend--and loyal sidekick Reeves-Smith's daughter--asks Brook to come out of his bee-keeping retirement to help Holmes. Together Brook, Reeves-Smith, and Lawford manage to catch the ship in France. Brook

disguises himself as an Austrian violinist with the ship's orchestra, and after one musical performance he puts on an impromptu magic show during which he manages to slip an incriminating document from Crisp's pocket. Next, in another disguise, the master detective coats the soles of Crisp's shoes

with phosphorescent paint, then follows the glowing trail to the cabin where Holmes is held. Morey, also on board, figures out the identity of the hero and the pair sit down for dinner and a chat. Morey offers Brook a cigarette from the poisoned case. The detective uses his sleight-of-hand to make

Morey think he has been pricked with the needle and is dying from its effects. Morey is arrested when he disembarks in New York and kills himself with the cigarette case. When Reeves-Smith compliments Brook on his sleuthing, movie fans heard for the first time the familiar litany that never

appears in any of the original stories, "Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary." Shot indoors at the Astoria New York studios because of the primitive sound recording equipment used, the film does have one shot on the deck of the ship with the Manhattan skyline (such as it was in 1929) visible in

the background. More significant than good, the film does sport decent performances by Brook and Morey, but these are lost in the claustrophobic settings and awkward line readings of Reeves-Smith, Lawford, and others.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective made his first speaking appearance in this otherwise unmemorable effort. Morey is the sleuth's old nemesis, now the head of a "radio-tapping" ring, who kills one of his underlings with a poisoned needle hidden in a… (more)

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