Today! Because it’s help me or help the Nazis –
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)
Directed by John Rawlins
Starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, Reginald Denny, Henry Daniell, Leyland Hodgson, Mary Gordon, Hillary Brooke, Thomas Gomez, Montagu Love, Harry Cording
The best of the Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes series with the updated World War II setting, and the only one on this list, The Voice of Terror has a standard mystery film of the era title – The Voice of Terror? What? And like many of the later films in the series (and by later, I mean everything after the first two), this one appears to have been cranked out on the cheap, skimping on sets and run time to maximize the efficiency necessary to churn out multiple movies a year.
However, they stumbled into a pretty effective yarn with Voice of Terror. Based loosely on the original Doyle story “His Last Bow” and the real-life adventures of the Nazi villain Lord Haw-haw (!), this third movie in the group (and the first at Universal, after leaving the big budgets of 20th Century Fox) concerns the government bringing Holmes in to help identify the source of the terrorist radio broadcasts of the Voice, announcing major British setbacks at the hands of the Nazis seemingly as they happen. There are a load of suspects – Holmes quickly figures a member of the illustrious war council may be behind this plot – and plenty of stock footage utilized to depict catastrophes far and wide in Great Britain.