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Dressed to Kill

USA 1946
produced by
Roy William Neill for Universal
directed by Roy William Neill
starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Patricia Morison, Edmund Breon, Frederick Worlock, Carl Harbord, Patricia Cameron, Holmes Herbert, Harry Cording, Leyland Hodgson, Mary Gordon, Ian Wolfe, Olaf Hytten
based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), Universal's Sherlock Holmes

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Watson's (Nigel Bruce) friend Stinky (really - played by  Edmund Breon) has bought a music box at an auction, which, without his knowledge, was produced in prison by masterthief Davidson & which, together with 2 other music boxes,  contains secret information  about the hiding place of two engraving plates from the bank of England in its tune's notation. And a certain Colonel Cavanaugh (Frederick Worlock) is most anxious to lay his hands on the box.

Soon, Stinky is robbed, & of all things, one of his music boxes is stolen, but not the one Cavanaugh wants. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), when learning about it, thinks little of it ... but soon after, Stinky is found dead ...

Holmes now sets out to track down the owners of the 2 other boxes what were also sold off at the auction (as does Cavanaugh), without knowing their actual secret, but always seems to be one step behind Cavanaugh & his aides, the brutal driver Hamid (Harry Cording) & the actress & expert in disguise Mrs Cockney (Patricia Morison), until he manages to get his hands on the third box & decides to set a trap for Cavanaugh & company.

And thanks to his pefect hearing, Holmes can remember the tunes of the boxes, including their little mistakes, just from hearing them once, & slowly decipher the message. But during his further investigatins he falls into a trap of Mrs Cockney & Cavanaugh & once again his life is in peril (this time he is supposed to be killed by car exhaust gasses) ... but of course though he manages to free himself (in a rather underwhelming scene, though).

Meanwhile Mrs Cockney manages of course to steal Holmes' musical box from right under Watson's eyes, but Holmes figures out the whereabouts of the engraving plates anyhow (in a rather unbelievable plottwist), & in a rather boring finale he catches Cavanaugh, Mrs Cockney & Hamid redhanded & has them arrested.


The last, & probably the dullest of the Universal-Basil Rathbone-Sherlock Holmes-series, since the story unfolds itself pretty much in the first 5 minutes, when we see the music box produced in prison, & it takes painstakingly long for Sherlock Holmes to come to the conclusion the dedicated viewer has come to long ago - which totally takes the suspense out of the story. & not enough with that, at the same time many of Holmes' conclusions, & many of the plottwists are so wild (even wilder than usual) that the plot's believability suffers greatly from it.

review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD