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Dressed To Kill (1946)

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Dressed To Kill (1946)


Basil Rathbone
Nigel Bruce

Directed by Roy William Neill

Dressed to kill is the final and fourteenth film in the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes film series. The movie is based on the Characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and although the plot is an original screenplay the movie features references to Conan Doyle’s "A Scandal in Bohemia".

The movie plot is quite interesting, as everything is based on a few musical notes that are out of place in a song, the music itself is a message, what the message is or what it is meant for is what our duo has to figure out.

The plot is about three cheap musical boxes (each one playing a subtly different version of "The Swagman" and only one keen in hearing and with musical background can pick it up), the musical boxes were manufactured in Dartmoor Prison by one of its inmates and they were sold at a local auction house.

The criminal gang meant to get the boxes, got to the auction a little late and all the boxes were sold to different owners, but the gang were however bent to recover the boxes by any means necessary, even if it means committing murder.

Sherlock Holmes is called on board when a murder occurs and a musical box seems to be the target, so he has to try and recover the last of the musical box and crack the secret code contained in the tune before the gang can.

Food for thought, in the movies Dr. Watson is portrayed to be much older than Holmes, and he does look it, as Nigel looks like he is 10 years Rathbone senior, but in real life Rathbone is 3 years older than Bruce, Bruce just looks older. Much talk had been around about the portrayal of Watson in this series, as he is portrayed as a bumbling fellow, who is just around and really doesn’t add to Sherlock’s detecting ability. While in the book and in subsequent remakes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters, Watson is portrayed as an upright fellow, who is a necessary addition to Holmes detective ability.

Dressed to kill is a good movie to see, as it shows our protagonist in a light of being one step ahead of the rest, we see him pick pocket with ease and escape death with the ingenuity of a fox. The movie is a nice ending to a beautiful pair and a wonderful film series.


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