Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1942 mystery starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

Synopsis: London is terrorized and tormented by a Nazi saboteur who brags about his successes over the radio while calling himself the Voice of Terror. When traditional intelligence efforts fail to discover the saboteur's identity, London's Intelligence Inner Circle brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in to help them.


I was in the mood for a mystery this morning while waiting to go to work and, after glancing at a few other choices, decided to give this Sherlock Holmes mystery a try. And, overall, I thought it was a good choice.

When I first began watching this movie, I was admittedly a bit skeptical about a Sherlock Holmes film set during World War II. This is mostly because, since the literary character would have been pretty old and probably even dead by the time this war broke out, it pretty much meant the "modernized" version of him was more or less a reboot. However, after seeing the movie, I do think it worked.

One thing, in particular, I found I liked about this film was the way the mystery wasn't as easy to figure out as I thought it would be. I kind of figured the bad guy would turn out to be one of the members of the Intelligence Inner Circle, mostly because the Voice of Terror seemed to have a an awful lot of inside information. But, even though I had my suspicions, the movie did an excellent job of keeping the saboteur's identity a secret.

I think one of the surprises in this movie was Evelyn Ankers as Holmes' associate, Kitty. I've always liked her as an actress and was concerned, with Basil Rathbone in the lead role, her character wouldn't get the respect she deserved. But, she did get a surprising amount of screen time and I thought her performance was excellent.

Probably the only thing I wasn't a fan of was the pro-Britain theme throughout. I'm willing to give it a pass because this movie, among other things, I'm sure it was used as a way of recruiting people during a time of war. But, the repeated use did get a little old after a while. Fortunately, the rest of the movie did make up for it.

Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Terror

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR Digitally Restored in 35mm The master detective Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his faithful cohort Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are bac...

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Final Opinion

This is a good movie with a decent mystery. If you haven't seen it and are looking for a good classic film to watch, I do recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 06/24/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/02/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here doesn't have Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror. But I expect to scrutinize each collection again. Some films hide in plain sight when they're part of multi-film collections whose allotted spaces on the online catalogue are less than the omnibus contents.

What would you think of a colorized reboot or remake, in which who would play the principal parts?

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