Another Holmes movie. It's the sequel to "Night of Terror:"
First we meet a lovely but evil young woman who’s ordering a coffin for her dear mother. The owner of the shop is listening attentively, but wishes she would go, since he’d like to get back to carving the life-like real boy he’s been working on all day:
I think he’s been paralyzed by Sudden Onset Puberty Syndrome:
To my amazement, imdb says the boy is Peter Sellers! Just kidding. But he actually has an imdb credit: he’s “Bobby Wissler” as “Mocks’ son.”
Holmes ends up on a train, guarding the Star of Rhodesia, a diamond currently owned by a nasty old matron wearing a ribbon of Cool Wnip around her head:
At the point I took this grab, I suspected the son of complicity in the plot, which means Holmes already has him figured for the trial and is mentally calculating the distance from the fellow’s feet to the floor of the room where he will be hung. I should say five feet two inches, Watson, unless the fellow has a heavy meal beforehand, and has evacuated his bowels prior to the event.
Remarkable, Holmes. Simply remarkable.
After Holmes examines the stone - I suspect it’s a fake, and he knew it by smelling it - it’s off to the dining car, where Holmes glares at the woman from the coffin shop:
Didn’t have much use for the fairer sex in these films, our Holmes. You say you can detect cooties by the sound they make scrabbling around the coarser hairs? Remarkable, Holmes. Simply remarkable.
That’s Renee Godfey, by the way. Her imdb bio says “sultry-eyed, dark-haired and exquisite-looking.” Yes, that covers it. Died young of cancer, having put her career on hold for a while to raise her children. Won the swimsuit competition in the 1936 Miss America pageant. Collected matchbook covers. Born too late, I was.
Anyway. The search for -
Even with the Drumstick frozen-treat hairdo: rowr. (Actually, close friends will note a similarity to a certain wife of mine. Yes, we all have our archetypes.)
Anyway - it’s a standard mystery-on-a-train movie, with the usual locations. The sitting rooms, the dining car, the luggage car. As with the other Rathbone Holmes, it’s brisk and well-done, always entertaining, and a stern, cold rebuke to the craptalicious quality of the previous 100 Mysteries examples. The presence of the lovely Ms. Godfrey is sufficient to lift it above all the others, and I really don’t know what more it needs, aside from
HOLY CROW, it’s SKELTON KNAGGS!
This isn’t the best action sequence in the movie, I’m afraid - the striking of Lestrade is oddly edited, and he sounds like he’s mastered the art of sneezing through his nose in reverse, and then it instantly cuts to Ms. Godfrey’s legs. Not that anyone complains.