A Study in Scarlet (movie 1933)

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A Study in Scarlet (1933)

A Study in Scarlet is an American movie released in 1933, produced by Fox Film Corp., starring Reginald Owen as Sherlock Holmes and Warburton Gamble as Dr. Watson. 71 min.

A criminal organization, The Scarlet Ring, lead by Thaddeus Merrydew (sort of half-Milverton half-Moriarty), has for habit to distribute to members the money from a deceased member. Widow Murphy calls Sherlock Holmes when many members are dying one by one. Holmes will success to save widow Forrester, and prevent the murder of Jabez Wilson and arrest the murderer and the gang leader...

The movie has nothing to do with the original story of Conan Doyle. However, the credits has a "Suggested by the story of A Study in Scarlet of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle". There are a few references to the original stories, but very few, and curiously Holmes and Watson lived at 221A Baker Street! Owen does not look like Sherlock Holmes, almost all holmesians agree, but his acting is not so bad. Seeing the well-known promotional photo, one can believe that this is a grotesque parody. Not at all, we never see a deerstalker or a macfarlane in the movie, and Owen portrays a very serious Holmes. He previously played Watson with Clive Brook as Sherlock Holmes, the year before, in 1932.

The film is quite sherlockian overall. Holmes does a lot of deductions and Watson is not a dumb sidekick (albeit balding here). There is a scene where Holmes quietly inspects the scene under the puzzled eyes of Watson and Lestrade. It's almost like the original Sherlock Holmes.

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  • Thompson : Hobart Cavanaugh
  • Butler : Olaf Hytten

  • Director : Edwin L. Marin
  • Producers : Samuel Bischoff, Burt Kelly, William Saal
  • Screenplay : Robert Florey, Reginald Owen (dialogues)
  • Cinematography : Arthur Edeson
  • Music : Hans Weeren