From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Cinema Cameos is an article written by C. A. Lejeune published in The Sketch on 6 mars 1940.
Below the part only about Sherlock Holmes.
As an ardent admirer of Sherlock Holmes who still keeps an omnibus copy of the Baker Street case-books by the bedside, I have to protest violently, loudly and uncompromisingly about the film that they call "SHERLOCK HOLMES" at the Regal. Never in all their joint career, I feel, would the great Sherlock and the good Watson have lent themselves to such goings-on as they indulge in in this picture. The sight of Professor Moriarty, that master-mind of the underworld, filching the Crown Jewels disguised in a police sergeant's uniform is odd, very odd, but we can bear it. What hurts, what proves as embarrassing to the Holmes fan as the spectacle of a maiden aunt making whoopee in a paper cap, is the behaviour of the Baker Street contingent. It is not enough for Watson, the eminently respectable G.P., to lie down at full length in a London gutter, but Holmes, too, has to be up to these prankish tricks. The climax comes when the great detective, dressed in a striped blazer and straw boater, appears as a variety entertainer at Lady Conynham's party, singing "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside." The syringe, Watson!
These complaints duly recorded, I must add that "Sherlock Holmes," as anything but Sherlock Holmes, is pretty good, easy entertainment. The sketch is something about a series of murders arranged to distract the detective while his arch-enemy makes a coup at the Tower of London. The detective, who is, I emphatically insist, not Holmes, is smoothly and engagingly played by Basil Rathbone. His assistant, who is uproariously not Watson, is done with a pleasant sense of dumb clowning by Nigel Bruce. George Zucco is the arch-fiend, and Ida Lupino the distraught heroine. Following her success in "The Light That Failed," Miss Lupino gives another arresting little sketch of a Victorian lady in trouble. It takes some talent in a young actress to make these period types live, but Miss Lupino has it. If she goes on developing at the rate of her last two pictures she Will soon be a very good actress indeed.
BASIL RATHBONE, who made such a success as Sherlock Holmes in the film version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles," is to be seen once more as the famous Conan Doyle character in "SHERLOCK HOLMES," the new Twentieth Century-Fox picture at the Regal, Marble Arch. Here he is, complete with classic "deer-stalker" cap and ulster, about to bring villainy to book.