johnlink ranks TERROR BY NIGHT (1946)

This is the 13th of 14 films that Basil Rathbone played Sherlock to Nigel Bruce’s Watson from 1939-1946. Not that I wanted to start so late in the series, but this is the one that happened to come across TCM. I’d never seen one of these classic Holmes flicks, so I am glad to have finally caught one.

I watched TERROR BY NIGHT (1946) on 9.27.10. It was my first viewing of the film. FULL MOVIE AVAILABLE HERE

This is basically what the 40s had instead of CSI or any number of procedural dramas. The film runs right around an hour, tells a stand alone detective story with allusions to past cases and characters, and wraps everything up in a bow. In fact, I watched the pilot episode of HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE today, and it was more cinematic than TERROR BY NIGHT. This film sort of blurs the line of what I rank as a movie, and what would be an episode of some show. But hey, this is considered a film, it was shown in theaters, and it is Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, so I’m not complaining.

Holmes and Watson are great in this. You can feel the chemistry coming through the screen. It’s the support, particularly the female lead, that brings the average quality of acting in this piece down. The story is a generic jewel theft and murder story, and doesn’t break any new ground there.

The re-imagining of Holmes, as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., makes for  much more entertaining fare. That said, this classic flick has its moments and blends the comedy fairly well with the mystery.

We have our little rogue’s gallery of suspects, and some seem to obvious to be it, and one or two seem not obvious enough, so we know one of them IS it. The twist at the end makes up the obviousness of the suspects, however, and provides a nice satisfying button on this light mystery.

I like this enough to watch the others if they come across my screen, but not enough to feel like I need to own or rewatch the thing. I would credit it as being as good as or better than the best episodics on TV.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 6

4+6+5+6+0=21

FINAL SCORE: 5.25

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~ by johnlink00 on September 27, 2010.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks TERROR BY NIGHT (1946)”

  1. Since you mentioned it, how was the first Boardwalk Empire? Worth checking out?

  2. Eeek, just saw this John. Yes, Boardwalk Emprie is superb. I think it is 6ish episodes in right now. Excellent series.

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