IA #98: Dressed to Kill (1946)

 Dressed to Kill (1946) on IMDb

Another staple of the old movie repackagers was the Sherlock Holmes movies set in the present-day 1940s and starring Basil Rathbone. It turns out that only a handful slipped into the public domain, and the best-reviewed of those is Dressed to Kill. Holmes has to discover why thieves are desperate for a particular set of music boxes.

I confess that watching these on TV as a child, I came to believe that Doctor Watson (as played by Nigel Bruce) was a bumbling sidekick. Upon reading the stories, I discovered that the original Watson was a very competent assistant, all the better to illustrate Holmes’ superiority. Every other adaptation recognizes this, but I guess Hollywood in the 40s still demanded comic relief and Bruce was the only one available to supply it. At any rate, I’m happy to help nudge this fast-paced movie into the Internet Archive Top 100.