A Study in Terror
|A Study in Terror|
US release film poster
|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 (US only)|
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 eventually discovers the identity of the Ripper.
- John Neville as Sherlock Holmes
- Donald Houston as Dr. Watson
- John Fraser as Edward Osborne, Lord Carfax
- Anthony Quayle as Doctor Murray
- Barbara Windsor as Annie Chapman
- Adrienne Corri as Angela Osborne
- Frank Finlay as Inspector Lestrade
- Judi Dench as Sally Young
- Charles Régnier as Joseph Beck (as Charles Regnier)
- Cecil Parker as Prime Minister
- Barry Jones as Duke of Shires
- Robert Morley as Mycroft Holmes
- Dudley Foster as Home Secretary
- Georgia Brown as The Singer
- Peter Carsten as Max Steiner
- Christiane Maybach as Polly Nichols
- Kay Walsh as Cathy Eddowes
- John Cairney as Michael Osborne
- Edina Ronay as Mary Jane Kelly
- Avis Bunnage as Landlady
- Barbara Leake as Mrs. Hudson
- Patrick Newell as PC Benson
- Norma Foster as Elizabeth Stride
- Terry Downes as Chunky
Producer Herman Cohen originally wanted to title the film Fog but Columbia insisted on the title A Study in Terror to tie in with the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet. Cohen also recalled on its US release Columbia advertised the film as a then popular tongue in cheek Batman type film rather than a horror or detective film.
The Monthly Film Bulletin gave a lackluster review saying "the film marks time lamely in the intervals between its conventionally shock-cut murders, while John Neville and Donald Houston uncomfortably mouth their lines as if suspecting that nobody will listen." Variety felt that "though the mixture of fiction and fact doesn't entirely click...An excellent cast gives the production fill value." The New York Times said "the entire cast, director and writers do play their roles well enough to make wholesale slaughter a pleasant diversion."
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.
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
- Barnes, Alan (2002). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-1-903111-04-8.
- p. 76 Weaver, Tom Herman Cohen Interview in Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews McFarland, 19 Feb. 2003
- Crowther, Bosley (November 3, 1966). "The Screen::Burt Lancaster in 'The Professionals' Noisy Western Opens at 2 Local Theaters". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Picker, Lenny. "Screen of the Crime". Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. 1 (4): 22.