A Study in Terror
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|A Study in Terror|
|Directed by||James Hill|
|Produced by||Henry E. Lester
|Written by||Derek Ford
|Based on||an original story by Derek & Donald Ford based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Music by||John Scott|
|Edited by||Henry Richardson|
Compton-Tekli Film Productions
Sir Nigel Films Productions
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release dates||4 November 1965 (World Premiere, London)|
|Running time||95 minutes|
A Study in Terror is a 1965 British thriller film directed by James Hill and starring John Neville as Sherlock Holmes and Donald Houston as Dr. Watson. It was filmed at Shepperton Studios, London, with some location work at Osterley House in Middlesex.
Although it is based on Conan Doyle's characters, the story is an original one, which has the famous detective on the trail of Jack the Ripper. In the dark alleys of nineteenth century London, the notorious Jack the Ripper committed a series of gruesome murders. The story of A Study in Terror challenges Sherlock Holmes to solve these horrific crimes. This leads Holmes through a trail of aristocracy, blackmail, and family insanity. Unlike Scotland Yard, and the real-life story, Holmes exposes the identity of the Ripper.
- John Neville — Sherlock Holmes
- Donald Houston — Dr. Watson
- John Fraser — Lord Carfax
- Anthony Quayle — Doctor Murray
- Barbara Windsor — Annie Chapman
- Adrienne Corri — Angela Osborne
- Frank Finlay — Inspector Lestrade
- Judi Dench — Sally Young
- Charles Régnier — Joseph Beck (as Charles Regnier)
- Cecil Parker — Prime Minister
- Barry Jones — Duke of Shires
- Robert Morley — Mycroft Holmes
- Dudley Foster — Home Secretary
A Study in Terror was released with reviews mixed to positive. Critics criticised the incorrect chronological order of murders carried out by the Ripper, but praised the strong performances from the cast for a low budget film. A Study in Terror received praise regarding John Neville and Donald Houston's portrayal of Holmes and Watson, comparing it to Rathbone and Bruce's portrayals of the duo.
In 1966, the film was made into a novel by Ellery Queen and Paul W. Fairman. The novelisation is unusual in that it adds a framing story wherein Ellery Queen reads a manuscript that re-tells the actions of the film. The framing story was written by Ellery Queen and the novelisation of the film itself by Fairman. Several plot points, including most notably the identity of the murderer, were altered for the novel.
The Holmes-Ripper idea was later taken up in Murder by Decree (1978), in which Frank Finlay reprised his role as Lestrade and Anthony Quayle once again had an important part (though this time as Sir Charles Warren of Scotland Yard).
- Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
- The Last Sherlock Holmes Story
- Murder by Decree
- John Hamilton, Beasts in the Cellar: The Exploitation Film Career of Tony Tenser, Fab Press, 2005 p 67
- The Times 4/11/65, page 2
- A Study in Terror at the Internet Movie Database
- A Study in Terror at AllMovie
- A Study in Terror at the TCM Movie Database