The Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone Films Playlist

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The Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone Films Playlist is made up of 14 full-length movies made in the 1930s and 40s.

sherlock holmes basil rathbone films

Basil Rathbone makes a convincing Sherlock Holmes.

That’s about all the resemblance these movies have to the original stories. The American screenwriters seemed to be only interested in the character and not the plots written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Only the first film produced in 1938 by 20th Century Fox exhibit any faithfulness to the original story. The rest can only be described at best, as loosely based.

Only the first two films were set in the correct century. The next 12 films were set during the Second World War. I can only surmise that there are good reasons to ignore the successful storylines Doyle had written. 

Apart from the liberal creative licence, I think the 14 films are quite enjoyable and entertaining on their own. The recent BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t faithful either.

I’m glad to be able to find the complete films of Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes freely available online. Extensive restoration has been done and so the quality is really quite good. 

14 Full Length Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone Films

1. The Hound of The Baskervilles 1939

A man attempts to gain an inheritance by killing the proper heir with a phosphorescent hound. Based on The Hound of the Baskervilles.

2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 1939

Professor Moriarty, Holmes’ nemesis attempts to steal the Crown jewels while side-tracking Holmes’ attention by a mysterious murder.

3. Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror 1942

Holmes aids Scotland yard in their investigation of a spy network with a subversive radio network. Inspired by The Last Bow.

4. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon 1943

Sherlock Holmes fights to keep a new bombsite design from the Nazis. Borrowed loosely from The Adventure of the Dancing Men.

5. Sherlock Holmes in Washington 1943

Holmes and Watson trace a missing secret document on microfilm for the British Government.

6. Sherlock Holmes Faces Death 1943

Sherlock Holmes investigates murders at a rest home where Watson volunteers. Inspired by The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual.

7. The Spider Woman 1944

Sherlock Holmes fakes his own death to expose a killer. Borrowing elements from The Adventure of the Dying DetectiveThe Sign of Four and The Final Problem

8. The Scarlet Claw 1944

Sherlock Holmes investigates a haunting in a Canadian village vital to the war effort.

9. The Pearl of Death 1944

Sherlock Holmes investigates the link between a stolen pearl and a series of murders. Inspired by The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.

10. The House of Fear 1945

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murder of a group of seven club members. Inspired by The Five Orange Pips.

11. The Woman in Green 1945

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of seemingly unrelated murders. Loosely based on The Adventure of the Empty House.

12. Pursuit to Algiers 1945

Sherlock Holmes escorts the heir to a throne back from exile in England, foiling attempts on his life.

13. The Terror by Night

Sherlock Holmes succeeds in preventing thieves from robbing Lady Margaret Carstairs of the ‘Star of Rhodesia’ – a fabulously expensive diamond. Action takes place on train bound for Scotland.

14. Dressed to Kill

Sherlock Holmes sets out to find why people are killing each other over a seemingly inexpensive music box.

Which is your favorite Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone Films?