Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) is the second of the Universal film versions of the stories and the fourth movie starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.  Lionell Atwill makes an appearance as Dr. Moriart

This movie is set during the early years of World War II, when Holmes sneaks a scientist out of Switzerland back to England right before the Nazis are set to snatch him.  While Holmes is thwarting the enemy, Professor Moriarty is also in the background plotting trouble for Holmes.

basil-rathbone

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

Of course, the fact that Moriarty was older than Holmes, so he would have been pushing 100 in the early 1940s, while Sherlock Holmes would have been in his eighties was completely lost on the producers of the film.  Dr. Watson was also not a bungler in the stories.

Nigel Bruce was born on February 4, 1895 in Mexico to an English engineering father.  According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), the Bruce family had been nobility since Charles I granted them the title of Baron.

He was wounded in World War I and wheel chair bound for a short time.  He turned to acting and was “discovered” ten years later.  He starred with Basil Rathbone in all fourteen Sherlock Holmes films that Rathbone played the title role.  Watson is his most famous role.

Despite these facts, the film is still enjoyable.  It runs about 68 minutes.

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