“These are apparently motiveless murders by a deranged mind. Where there is no motive, there is no reason to stop!”
In Victorian London, Sherlock Holmes (John Neville) and Dr. Watson (Donald Houston) investigate a rash of murders committed by “Jack the Ripper”.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Anthony Quayle Films
- Detectives and Private Eyes
- Historical Drama
- Jack the Ripper
- Murder Mystery
- Serial Killers
- Sherlock Holmes Films
This mid-century Holmesian thriller is notable as the first film to show the literary icon tracking the notorious Victorian-era serial killer known as “Jack the Ripper”; Bob Clark’s Murder By Decree (1979) tackled the same subject. John Neville — perhaps best known for playing the title role in Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) — does a fine job as Holmes, and the storyline itself remains engaging throughout; with that said, this one will primarily be of interest to Holmes fans, and isn’t must-see for all film fanatics. Keep your eyes out for Judi Dench (I’ll admit I didn’t recognize her) in a small but key supporting role — and be sure to read TCM’s article for the lowdown on a host of other recognizable cast members.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- John Neville as Sherlock Holmes
- Fine period sets
No, though it’s worth a look for Neville’s fine central performance as Holmes.