Sherlock Holmes in Washington

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Sherlock Holmes in Washington
Sherlock holmes in washington.jpg
1943 US Theatrical Poster
Directed by Roy William Neill
Produced by Roy William Neill
Written by Bertram Millhauser
Based on The Bruce-Partington Plans
1908 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories 
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring Basil Rathbone
Nigel Bruce
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Lester White
Edited by Otto Ludwig
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
  • April 30, 1943 (1943-04-30)
Running time
71 min
Country United States
Language English

Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) is the fifth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes movies. The plot is an original story not based on any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes tales, though it bears some similarity to "The Bruce-Partington Plans."


A British agent carrying a vital document is murdered on his way to deliver it in the USA. Holmes deduces he was carrying the document in the form of microfilm and goes to Washington with Watson to find the killer and retrieve the document before it falls into the hands of an "international spy ring". Before his death, the agent managed to pass the microfilm into the unwitting hands of a Washington debutante and bride-to-be. There are some amusing moments when the microfilm, which has been inserted into a "V for Victory" matchbook, gets passed from hand to hand at a party unknowingly, and at one point is discarded by the chief criminal. Holmes and Watson track down the criminals, rescue the bride-to-be and regain the microfilm.


Cast notes[edit]

John Archer and Marjorie Lord, who play an engaged couple in this film, were a married couple when it was made. The two main villains in "Sherlock Holmes in Washington" played Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty in other films. George Zucco played the role in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), and Henry Daniell portrayed Moriarty in The Woman in Green (1945). Gerald Hamer, who appeared in four other of Rathbone's Holmes movies, has a brief, uncredited but pivotal role in this one.

Oscar Homolka was originally cast in this film as Holmes's elder brother Mycroft. He quit the part due to family issues, and Mycroft's character was replaced by "Mr. Ahrens", portrayed by Holmes Herbert.

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