THE TRIUMPH OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1935) Arthur Wontner | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | COLORIZED

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The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes is a 1935 British mystery film directed by Leslie S. Hiscott and starring Arthur Wontner. It was based on the 1915 Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle.

It is the fourth film in the 1931–1937 film series starring Wontner as Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes, retired to Sussex, is drawn into a last case when arch enemy Moriarty arranges with an American gang to kill one John Douglas, a country gentleman with a mysterious past. Holmes’ methods baffle Watson and Lestrade, but his results astonish them. In a long flashback, the victim’s wife tells the story of the sinister Vermissa Valley.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson come out of retirement to investigate a mysterious murder. They find that an American criminal organisation called The Scowrers has asked evil mastermind Professor Moriarty to wreak vengeance on John Douglas, the informant who sent them to prison. Holmes outsmarts Moriarty, solves the murder and brings Moriarty to justice.

Arthur Wontner as Sherlock Holmes
Lyn Harding as Professor Moriarty
Leslie Perrins as John Douglas
Jane Carr as Ettie Douglas
Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson
Charles Mortimer as Inspector Lestrade
Minnie Rayner as Mrs. Hudson
Michael Shepley as Cecil Barker
Ben Welden as Ted Balding
Roy Emerton as Boss McGinty
Conway Dixon as Ames
Wilfrid Caithness as Col. Sebastian Moran
Edmund D’Alby as Capt. Marvin
Ernest Lynds as Jacob Shafter

Directed by Leslie S. Hiscott
Written by H. Fowler Mear, Cyril Twyford
Based on Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
Produced by Julius Hagen
Cinematography William Luff
Edited by Jack Harris, Ralph Kemplen
Music by W.L. Trytel
Release date 1935
Running time 84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Like all the films featuring Wontner as Holmes, this one has a contemporary 1930s setting, making the flashback sequence pitting undercover detective Douglas against the Scowrers somewhat problematical since, historically, the real-life incident on which this sequence is based, Pinkerton operative James McParland’s infiltration of the Molly Maguires, occurred in the 1870s, a full half-century earlier.

The New York Times wrote, “a mellow, evenly paced British film that renders to Holmes what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have rendered to him: Interest, respect and affection…Mr. Wontner decorates a calabash pipe with commendable skill, contributing a splendid portrait of fiction’s first detective. Lyn Harding is capital as Moriarty and Roy Emerton, Leslie Perrins, Ian Fleming and Michael Shepley perform competently.”


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