SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE WOMAN IN GREEN (1945)

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Sherlock Holmes And The Woman in Green Cover Now I know this may sound like a very frivolous thing to say, but have you ever noticed that whenever someone drapes themselves in the color green, for some strange reason they feel compelled to kill. Yeah! They do! As I saw it in this 68 minute movie made in 1945, Directed: by Roy William Neill; and Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke, with Henry Daniell.


Sherlock Holmes - The Woman in Green


THE STORY:
Now you don't seem very surprised to see me turn up at your doorstep, tonight, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone). Although I suspect, deep down inside, you would've deduced my sudden arrival sooner or later.

Well. Let's face it. If I unveiled myself too soon, it would have appeared rather obvious who was behind your current murder case. One pertaining to a strange killing spree where a number of victims have had their fingers amputated. Or what about if I showed up sometime thereafter? When you eventually discovered the dead body of Sir George Fenwick (Paul Cavanagh) lying in his own home, possibly connected to your initial investigation.

But then I decided to say to myself, 'Professor Moriarty (Henry Daniell). Don't you think it's about time you made your presence known? Especially since you've gone to all that trouble of orchestrating a devilish trap for Doctor Watson (Nigel Bruce) to fall in to!'.

What? You've got nothing to say, Sherlock? Good. Keep it that way, will you? Or otherwise what next transpires will not go according to plan when I reunite with my sultry accomplice, Lydia Marlowe (Hillary Brooke). As a killer doesn't know what he's doing - hypnotism is something you shouldn't be booing - a sultry accomplice thinks she's got the upper hand - and at the end of the day, never trust a consulting detective who always has everything planned.




THE REVIEW:
Simply put, 'The Woman in Green' is one of those films that managed to keep me at the very edge of my seat because it's got it all. There's a pretty blond lady and Professor Moriarty playing the two main villains. There's Basil and Bruce doing what they always do best in their own charming yet bumbling manner. Plus on top of all that, there's an enveloping story-line that's one half 'hunter verses prey', and one half 'shocking and suspenseful'.

Sherlock Holmes And The Woman in Green Vintage Poster
Now in the case of the 'hunter verses prey' department, I'd say this is how the movie conceptually plays out on screen. (Step One) Sherlock is presented with a crime he has to solve. (Step Two) The crime then shifts into a sub-plot involving the two key villains. (Step Three) One of the villains makes himself known and tries to dissuade Sherlock's investigation. (Step Four) Sherlock eventually disregards this proposition, and then delves into this matter further.  

Whilst, in the case of 'shocking and suspenseful' department, well, that would be how this adventure came across for yours truly. Honestly, folks. There were a couple of times throughout this flick I found myself screaming at the screen, warning Sherlock about what Moriarty and Lydia were really up to. 'No. Don't do that. Do this', I yelped. 'Get the f*ck out of there, quick'. I exclaimed. Plus other more 'un-favorable comments' directed towards the opposition.

Furthermore, I also enjoyed those scenes where Basil managed to show a much more personable side to Holmes. This includes that scene where he was at the bar with that policeman having a drink, as well as the debonair way he handled himself in front of his two erudite antagonists.


Sherlock Holmes And The Woman in Green Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce


Oh! Wait up. That reminds me. As I've just mentioned that policeman, I did find it very intriguing with how he kicked off this adventure with his initial voice over narration. From my point of view this felt very grounded somehow. Personal even. Almost as grounded and personal as the reference relating to my favorite Victorian serial killer, 'Jack the Ripper'.

Sherlock Holmes And The Woman in Green DVD
But hey! Before I get too carried away with myself, I think its about time for me to present you with the following filmic facts. (1) 'Universal' first released this production in New York, New York, on the very same day that the US division of the Communist Party was first formed -- the 27th of July, 1945. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'The Case of the Severed Fingers' in Spain; 'Sherlock Holmes and the Green Dressed Woman' in Finland; and during pre-production, it was given the working title, 'Invitation To Murder'. (3) Just like many of the other Holmes movies shot for 'Universal', this one was also shot at 'Universal Studios', Universal City, located within the American state of California. (4) Even though this film wasn't directly based on any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Holmes tales, certain scenes in it do pay homage to 'The Final Problem' and 'The Adventure of the Empty House'. (5) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'From Her LIPS - Poison That Bred MURDER!'. (6) This was the only instance where Sherlock's elder brother, Mycroft Holmes, was referenced in a Basil Rathbone, Holmes production, despite not appearing it. (7) Following orders from the 'Breen Office', the makers of this movie had to make two alterations to the original script. Firstly, the victims were to be young women and not young girls, as initially intended. And secondly, during that scene in the Mesmer Club, Watson had to roll up his pants and not take them off. (8) After this flick closed its case, both Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce starred in the next Sherlock Holmes movie, 'Pursuit to Algiers'; whilst Hillary Brooke starred in the comedy, 'Up Goes Maisie'.


Sherlock Holmes And The Woman in Green 1945 Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, and Hillary Brooke


Overall I'd say 'The Woman in Green' was one hell of a marvelous movie. Not only was it well acted, well produced, and well fun to follow. But it also had a very intriguing story-line I want to watch again very-very soon.

Nuff said.

THE RATING: A-