Masks of Death
On two consecutive yet separate occasions, two distinguished looking gentlemen have approached me at my
apartment, and asked me to investigate two very different crimes.
Now the first crime was presented by my police liaison, Alec MacDonald (Gordon Jackson), and it involved the death of a poor unfortunate beggar who was washed up by the side of the River Thames. Whereas the second crime was at the bequest of the Home Secretary (Ray Milland), and this concerned the strange disappearance of a German prince, which could also cause great civil unrest between our two nations.
Of course, me being the venerable Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing), I eventually decided to occupy my time with the second crime. The one involving the missing prince. However, after I looked into this matter further and came into contact with one of my old adversaries, Irene Adler (Anne Baxter), I began to have second thoughts about my choice. Especially when I almost got blown to bits during my subsequent sleuthing!
Nonetheless, that's most probably why what next transpires all goes 'choo-choo' when I catch a train ride to nowhere. As you can't trust everything you see - can you actually believe an old adversary - as per usual Doctor Watson (John Mills) comes to my aide - and at the end of the day, a devilish plot is ultimately swayed.
Now if you're able to look past the blatantly obvious 'made for television' quality 'The Mask of Death' has in spades, you'd find that at the very heart of it is a fairly well paced and intriguing Sherlock Holmes adventure. Honestly, dear reader! From my point of view the only thing that let this movie down was its uninspired camera-work, plus how long it took for the narrative to take shape.
Or words to that effect.
Another aspect about this movie I enjoyed was the obvious on-screen chemistry between its two main leads. Even though you could tell Peter and John were getting on in age, in my opinion I still thought they worked very well together, because on occasion I could almost feel the tangible quality these two great actors had between them. Furthermore, I couldn't help but applaud the fact that they didn't point to their own frailties, and just got on with the matter at hand like pros always do.
Yeah. Straight Up, folks! Despite being in his seventies, Sherlock still played dress-up and messed about with his chemistry set. Whilst Watson narrated this piece, and always carried around with him his usual trusted revolver.
Overall I'd say 'The Mask of Death' was a pretty decent film to sit down and watch. By in large all the actors helped drive the plot along quite nicely. The plot was easy to follow despite its sudden turn. And as push come to shove, I would defiantly recommend this movie to any of you Sherlock Holmes fans out there.
It may not be the best mystery you'd ever see. But it surely is one of a kind. Nuff said.