Dig that crazy movie poster! Despite the English “look” to this picture, it was all filmed in Universal City, California. The mostly British cast starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce who made a series of 12 Sherlock Holmes pictures for Universal. Terror By Night takes place on a LMS train from Euston Station in London to Edinburgh, Scotland.
The basic premise of the flick are the attempts to steal the fabulous “Star of Rhodesia” diamond from its owner as they travel overnight from England to Scotland. Just a short 60 minutes long, “Terror” packs a lot of action and suspects into its rolling tale of whodunnit. Let’s tag along.
Holmes and Doctor Watson chat it up onboard the train to Edinburgh.
Clock’s-eye view of the interior of Euston Station; Steam engine pulls into the station as passengers stream up the platform.
Holmes recognizes Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard dressed up in fishing kit (but actually onboard to guard the diamond); The conductor warns Holmes of the trains imminent departure.
Holmes wondering where Watson is; Watson (with his companion, Major Duncan-Bleek) run to get aboard the already-moving train.
Steam train scoops up water from track pans; Watson and Holmes see the Star of Rhodesia diamond for the first time.
In the dining car, Sherlock keeps an eye on the femme fatale (there’s ALWAYS a femme fatale…); Rather obvious model of an English train rounding a curve. This movie was done quick and on the cheap.
Holmes, Watson and Bleek-boy in the dining car with the shade carefully pulled down, so you can’t tell it is a movie set; Well, this is awkward. The femme fatale catches the Inspector and Holmes pawing through her unmentionables as the conductor looks on.
A couple more cheesy models to keep the action rolling along.
Inspector Lestrade catches the thieves….of hotel teapots!; Whoa! Someone is trying to kick Holmes off the train!
Decent image of what appears to be a real train at platform; whistle blasting away (they used this shot about 5 times in the movie).
Hands! On the throttle; And about to snuff the sleepy LMS porter….
Holmes and Watson watch as the train stops in Scotland to board the police.
You’ll never take me alive, copper!; Just 5 pounds? That’s not much of a deterrent….
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For such a bare-bones production, Terror By Night tells a pretty good story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Not a bad Obscure Train Movie and well worth a viewing. Elementary!
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Terror By Night:
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