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Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Scarlet Claw (1944)

While attending a conference on the occult in Quebec, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his assistant Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are drawn into investigating a series of gruesome murders which the locals attribute to a legendary phantom monster. Holmes, however, suspects the "monster" has a very human form. Directed by Roy William Neill, this is an original screenplay not based on any of the Arthur Conan Doyle mysteries. Its place in the Holmes franchise is somewhere in the middle. Its similarities to HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES gives the movie an also ran quality and unlike BASKERVILLES, it's not a period film. Holmes even mentions Churchill and the film makers make Holmes more physical than usual as when he flips the killer over. As usual, the atmosphere provided is first rate and Rathbone and Bruce go through their paces like the good soldiers they are but I wouldn't have minded a bit more freshness. With Ian Wolfe, Paul Cavanagh, Kay Harding, Miles Mander and Gerald Hamer.

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