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      Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman

      Released Dec 25, 1942 1h 3m Mystery & Thriller List
      Reviews 73% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A flurry of unexplained suicides has recently occurred among the wealthy elite of London high society. Intrepid sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) believes the perpetrator is cunning seductress Adrea Spedding (Gale Sondergaard), a woman who perpetually haunts London's gambling halls in search of her unlucky prey. Now Holmes, with help from his steadfast assistant, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), must draw Spedding out by playing the role of her next victim. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews The seventh Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce film in the Sherlock Holmes series is an inspired one. Rated: B+ Dec 30, 2009 Full Review Phil Hall IdentityTheory Gale Sondergaard brings a healthy dose of camp glamour as the eponymous villain. Rated: 2.5/5 Dec 21, 2009 Full Review Michael W. Phillips, Jr. Goatdog's Movies This is one of the most clever reimaginings of Doyle's stories to make it into this series of films. Rated: 3.5/5 Jun 9, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Frances H A pretty good Sherlock case, if you can overlook some very terrible statements Abut women and the horribly fake spider itself. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/05/22 Full Review robert p Another great adventure by Sherlock Holes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) and of course Dr. Moriarty. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review matthew d Sadly dated with stereotypes, yet the central mystery is invigorating! Roy William Neill's mystery thriller The Spider Woman (1943) also known as Sherlock Holmes in the Spider Woman is a refined show of directorial force. As Neill directs something like 5 different classics Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle's mysteries are intriguing, exciting, and complex. Writer Bertram Millhauser adapts Doyle with a nice reverence for Doyle's storytelling, though having Sherlock Holmes in brownface as an Indian man, or an insensitive portrayal of a little man in brownface as a pygmy is fairly tasteless. You could even argue this one has sexist dehumanizations of women as gold diggers, manipulators, and lethal femme fatales out to be cunning killers. Neill's direction is involving, the mysteries themselves are fascinating, and the multitude of strange cases makes The Spider Woman a worthwhile watch. William Austin's editing briskly cuts The Spider Woman down to a super fast feeling 63 minutes of all clues and action. Charles Van Enger's cinematography uses that old film noir style of still shots indoors, with sudden panning shots to objects of interest, while the action is all shot from a wide angle to see little moments. The Spider Woman is not as dark or dreary as some of Roy William Neill's other more Gothic Sherlock Holmes features, but it is a nicely shot picture. Vera West's dazzling dresses and suits for the villainess Adrea Spedding sparkle off the screen, portrayed by the classic cinema actress Gale Sondergaard (The Mark of Zorro) with a flourish of style. Her every move and facial expression feels purposeful. Basil Rathbone is astute and versatile as usual with a cheery disposition until crime is involved. Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes remains my favorite version for his serious take on the great detective character. Nigel Bruce's Dr. Watson is particularly quirky and funny this time around. Dennis Hoey's Inspector Lestrade is sentimental and goofy in a most pleasing way. In short, I do recommend Sherlock Holmes in The Spider Woman, but realize dated racist stereotypes and sexist ideas are present here. Thankfully, Rathbone and Bruce are so entertaining alongside the devilishly clever antagonist Gale Sondergaard. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review martin a A woman who murders her victims with spiders after robbing them of their money, Holmes must stop her before she kills again. Found Watson a little too bumbling in this but loved it all the same. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review andy f More complex than usual classic Holmes and all the better for it. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Action-packed instalment of the long running series with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Holmes very nearly meets his match in Gayle Sondergaard's Spider Woman (potentially drawn from Conan Doyle's Irene Adler who was Holmes' great female adversary and possible love interest). She almost does him in on more than one occasion as he attempts to solve the mystery of the "pajama suicides" - men awakening in the middle of the night and killing themselves. Of course, Holmes suspects foul play - and he both fakes his own death and goes undercover as an Indian gambler to try to gather evidence about the crimes. In the end, the script draws liberally from several Conan Doyle's stories and also inserts Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito into the plot (as targets at a shooting gallery) as a tip of the hat to modern wartime audiences. Bruce is his usual bumbling self, Rathbone is cunning and playful, and Dennis Hoey is all bluster (though with a sentimental streak) as Inspector Lestrade. The plot has enough twists and moves swiftly. Indeed, all of the elements of the franchise are here and they make for rip-roaring fun. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A flurry of unexplained suicides has recently occurred among the wealthy elite of London high society. Intrepid sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) believes the perpetrator is cunning seductress Adrea Spedding (Gale Sondergaard), a woman who perpetually haunts London's gambling halls in search of her unlucky prey. Now Holmes, with help from his steadfast assistant, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), must draw Spedding out by playing the role of her next victim.
      Director
      Roy William Neill
      Producer
      Roy William Neill
      Screenwriter
      Bertram Millhauser
      Distributor
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Universal Pictures
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 25, 1942, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 22, 2020
      Runtime
      1h 3m
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