Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death
Why did I do it, Doctor Watson (Nigel Bruce)? Why did I feel the need to demonstrate to the curator of the
that his security system
wasn't able to safeguard the Borgia Pearl properly? British
I mean, for crying out loud! It was only the previous night I dolled myself up and retrieved it from that sultry swindler, Naomi Drake (Evelyn Ankers). And now, on the day of my demonstration, the mastermind who orchestrated Naomi to swipe this pearl in the first place, Giles Conover (Miles Mander), has used this opportunity to steal it out from under our very noses.
OK. I admit. It was fortunate that Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) and his men were at hand to catch Giles before he could get too far away. However, during the short interim Giles was hidden away from prying eyes, somehow he managed to conceal this very valuable item and won't tell anyone where it is.
So what should I do about it, old chap? Should I just stand around and hope Lestrade can coax this information out of him? Or better yet, should I just sit back and take all of that abuse spouted about me in the press because of my ill fated demonstration?
No. I don't think I will do any of these things, my friend. For I am the consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), and I know why what next transpires becomes slightly sinister, when another one of Giles' henchman makes himself known. As the Creeper (Rondo Hatton) begins his attack - a sprung booby-trap ultimately goes thwack - six Little Napoleons eventually take a crack - and at the end of the day, a bad guy better watch his damn bloody back.
To be absolutely honest with you, folks, the only thing I could find at fault with 'The Pearl of Death' was that on three separate occasions the plot-line relied heavily either on happenstance or illogical behavior.
The second scene was the one where Sherlock allowed Naomi to get away after she attempted to swindle from that man, because... well... why should he let her walk away Scott Free? It doesn't make any sense, right?
And the third scene was the one where Sherlock was able to trick Naomi, because how in the hell did he know Giles was going to hang up on her during their telephone conversation together?
But wait up! Let me just state for the record that not everything is doom and gloom where this great movie is involved. Apart from these slights dip in the story-line, the rest of it was very suspenseful and character-driven to watch.
Take that incredibly gripping scene where Giles sneakily gave Watson that book-shaped booby-trap for instance. As soon as he was left alone with it, I couldn't help but squirm about on my sofa concerned that he'd kick the bucket by prying its lid open. And I have to say my fret wasn't released until Sherlock eventually came into the room and deduced what really was going on.
You see, in my eyes this nuance gave this flick an extra added ingredient where characterization and plot-development was concerned. Not only did it allow each of the actors to illustrate another side of their craft. But it also enhanced the overall narrative with a suspenseful angle that allowed this adventure to be more adventurous.
Now before I bugger off to
Street, please allow me to mention that I did enjoy
hearing Holmes barking orders to all of those people around him. Even though at
times it did sound a little bit rude on screen -- especially when he directed
his attentions towards Doctor Watson -- in
a round about way this personally trait kind of defined 'The Pearl of Death' for
It was occasionally abrupt. It was frequently harrowing. And it was chock full of character and individuality.
THE RATING: B+