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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Woman In Green (1945)

Starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke, Henry Daniell, Paul Cavanagh
Directed by Roy William Neill
(actor & director credits courtesy

When the London police are stymied by a murderer who kills young women and then cuts a finger off each corpse, they consult Sherlock Holmes, who concludes his arch-nemesis is behind it all.

One of the slower-paced Holmes films for Rathbone and Bruce, befitting its focus on hypnotism, and the third appearance in the series of Professor Moriarty, each time portrayed by a different actor, here by Henry Daniell.  Although Daniell has always been an accomplished actor and very good in everything I've seen, he doesn't have as much to work with here as prior Moriarties Lionel Atwill and George Zucco did, and his scheme here seems rather pedestrian compared to the character's more memorable capers.  However, Neill does an excellent job of staging a memorable sequence from Conan Doyle's original story The Empty House, and fans of Rathbone and Bruce should find plenty to enjoy.

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