Terror by Night (1946) Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray, Dennis Hoey Movie Review

Terror by Night (1946)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Dennis Hoey, Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone in Terror by Night (1946)

Murder on the Holmes Express

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are approached by Roland Carstairs (Geoffrey Steele) as his mother, Lady Margaret (Mary Forbes), is travelling from London to Edinburgh and will have the precious Star of Rhodesia diamond with her, fearing someone will try and steal it he wants Holmes to protect it. Having managed to switch the real diamond with a fake Holmes finds himself with a murder to solve when Roland is murdered. But with Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) also on the train they find themselves with various red herrings to deal with to solve the crime and protect the jewel.

KISS - Keep it simple, stupid. That acronym is often so true when it comes to movies and it certainly is the case when it comes to "Terror by Night" a Sherlock Holmes movie from back in 1946. The simplicity is that we have a train, a stolen gem, a murder and of course Holmes trying to solve the case. But with a train packed with characters such as a grumpy professor in one compartment, a younger woman who has a coffin in the baggage compartment and various people brushing past each other in the gangway on the train there is plenty of possibilities. As such we not only have various suspects but we also have various witnesses who might have useful information and might not.

But what we also have in "Terror by Night" is a movie which is also playful in tone with on one hand Nigel Bruce playing it as a bit of an absent minded Watson whilst Dennis Hoey gives Lestrade that element of a man who not only jumps to conclusions but is frustrated by Holmes' methods. And then there is Basil Rathbone who plays Sherlock Holmes with that air of confidence and humour as he seems to be just observing Lestrade but is in fact poking him in the right direction. It is just simple but entertaining thanks to the set up and playful manner with who is responsible is not actually that critical to the entertainment.

What this all boils down to is that "Terror by Night" is simply an entertaining Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes movie with a wonderful tone which keeps it ticking over rather than the actual solving of the murder.