Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)

70-71 mins | Drama | 30 April 1943

Director:

Roy William Neill

Cinematographer:

Lester White

Editor:

Otto Ludwig

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film opens with the following written foreword: "Sherlock Holmes, the immortal character of fiction created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is ageless, invincible and unchanging. In solving significant problems of the present day he remains--as ever--the supreme master of deductive reasoning." Marjorie Lord's character is identified as "Nancy Pattridge" by the film's end credits; however, she is clearly called "Nancy Partridge" in the film and is listed that way in contemporary sources. This was the first Sherlock Holmes film in the Universal series that was not directly inspired by one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. According to HR news items, actress Evelyn Ankers was originally cast in the role of "Nancy Partridge." HR news items also state that, as late as 20 Jul 1942, Robert Paige was being considered as John Archer's replacement in the role of "Lt. Peter Merriam." (Lord and Archer later married; actress Anne Archer is their daughter.) Actor George Zucco, who played "Robert Stanley" in the film, had previously appeared with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the 1939 Twentieth-Century Fox Sherlock Holmes film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 : F3.0022), playing Holmes's arch nemesis, "Professor Moriarty." Screenwriter Bertram Millhauser, who would go on to write a number of the Universal films in the series, had previously written the 1932 Fox release Sherlock Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 : F3.4020). According to modern sources, the working title of this film was Sherlock Holmes in U.S.A. For further information on the series and other films featuring the ... More Less

The film opens with the following written foreword: "Sherlock Holmes, the immortal character of fiction created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is ageless, invincible and unchanging. In solving significant problems of the present day he remains--as ever--the supreme master of deductive reasoning." Marjorie Lord's character is identified as "Nancy Pattridge" by the film's end credits; however, she is clearly called "Nancy Partridge" in the film and is listed that way in contemporary sources. This was the first Sherlock Holmes film in the Universal series that was not directly inspired by one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. According to HR news items, actress Evelyn Ankers was originally cast in the role of "Nancy Partridge." HR news items also state that, as late as 20 Jul 1942, Robert Paige was being considered as John Archer's replacement in the role of "Lt. Peter Merriam." (Lord and Archer later married; actress Anne Archer is their daughter.) Actor George Zucco, who played "Robert Stanley" in the film, had previously appeared with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the 1939 Twentieth-Century Fox Sherlock Holmes film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 : F3.0022), playing Holmes's arch nemesis, "Professor Moriarty." Screenwriter Bertram Millhauser, who would go on to write a number of the Universal films in the series, had previously written the 1932 Fox release Sherlock Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 : F3.4020). According to modern sources, the working title of this film was Sherlock Holmes in U.S.A. For further information on the series and other films featuring the Arthur Conan Doyle characters, consult the Series Index and see the above entry for Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror , and the entries for Sherlock Holmes and The Hounds of the Baskervilles in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 (F3.4020 and F3.2009). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Apr 1943.
---
Daily Variety
26 Mar 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Mar 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Oct 42
p. 983.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Apr 43
p. 1237.
Variety
31 Mar 43
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
[Sd] tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
30 April 1943
Production Date:
8 July--late July 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
24 September 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11600
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Length(in feet):
6,427
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8920
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

British diplomat Sir Henry Marchmont travels on a transatlantic flight from London to New York, on his way to Washington, D.C. He is followed by a group of German spies, led by William Easter, who suspect that Sir Henry is carrying secret government documents. The German agents later learn that Sir Henry is merely a decoy, and Easter recognizes that fellow passenger John Grayson is the actual courier. Realizing that he has been discovered, Grayson slips a matchbook into the purse of socialite Nancy Partridge just moments before he is abducted by Easter and his men. Back in London, famed detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion, Dr. John Watson, learn from Mr. Ahrens of the British Home Office that Grayson was actually secret service agent Alfred Pettibone, and Holmes is asked to recover the vital secret documents. The detective soon deduces that Grayson photographed the documents, then placed the microfilm in an American matchbook folder. Arriving in Washington, Holmes and Watson are met by Bart Lang of the British embassy and Detective Lt. Grogan of the Washington police department, the officer in charge of the Grayson case. Grayson's murdered body is later delivered to Holmes's hotel room, and the detective deduces from inspecting it that the spies have not found the secret documents. After interviewing George, a train porter, Holmes quickly surmises that Nancy has the matchbook. Easter comes to a similar conclusion, so he arranges for his men to attend Nancy's engagement party. The spies abduct both Nancy and her fiancé, naval lieutenant Peter Merriam, then remove Nancy, hidden inside a rolled-up carpet, from her aunt's home. Without any other ... +


British diplomat Sir Henry Marchmont travels on a transatlantic flight from London to New York, on his way to Washington, D.C. He is followed by a group of German spies, led by William Easter, who suspect that Sir Henry is carrying secret government documents. The German agents later learn that Sir Henry is merely a decoy, and Easter recognizes that fellow passenger John Grayson is the actual courier. Realizing that he has been discovered, Grayson slips a matchbook into the purse of socialite Nancy Partridge just moments before he is abducted by Easter and his men. Back in London, famed detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion, Dr. John Watson, learn from Mr. Ahrens of the British Home Office that Grayson was actually secret service agent Alfred Pettibone, and Holmes is asked to recover the vital secret documents. The detective soon deduces that Grayson photographed the documents, then placed the microfilm in an American matchbook folder. Arriving in Washington, Holmes and Watson are met by Bart Lang of the British embassy and Detective Lt. Grogan of the Washington police department, the officer in charge of the Grayson case. Grayson's murdered body is later delivered to Holmes's hotel room, and the detective deduces from inspecting it that the spies have not found the secret documents. After interviewing George, a train porter, Holmes quickly surmises that Nancy has the matchbook. Easter comes to a similar conclusion, so he arranges for his men to attend Nancy's engagement party. The spies abduct both Nancy and her fiancé, naval lieutenant Peter Merriam, then remove Nancy, hidden inside a rolled-up carpet, from her aunt's home. Without any other leads, Holmes examines the materials found with Grayson's body and deduces that Nancy's kidnappers work in an antique shop. He and Watson then probe Washington's antique shops, finally arriving at Stanley's Antiques, which Holmes correctly suspects is the spies's hideout. Inside, Richard Stanley, the owner, questions Nancy about the secret documents, of which she truthfully claims no knowledge. Pretending to be an eccentric collector, Holmes gains admittance into Stanley's office, whom he immediately recognizes as Heinrich Hinkle, an ex-secret agent for pre-war Germany, who now heads an international spy ring. Stanley recognizes Holmes as well, but is unaware that he is lighting Holmes's cigarette with the very matchbook that holds the microfilm. Stanley's men capture Holmes, but before the spy can have the detective and Nancy executed, Watson arrives with Peter and the police. Stanley manages to escape through a secret passageway, however, and heads straight for the office of Senator Henry Babcock, who he has learned from Holmes holds a stamped envelope given to him by Grayson during the train ride to Washington, which the detective has led the spy to believe contains the microfilm. Stanley walks straight into Holmes's trap, and the microfilm is safely recovered. Holmes then reminds Stanley that he had told him that the man who had the secret documents did not know he had it, as Stanley had been carrying the matchbook since his abduction of Nancy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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