Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in “The Woman in Green” (1945) – reviewed by George

The movie starts with a big laugh, and then moves on to suspense. A killer somewhat similar to Jack the Ripper, but less messy, has killed three women (a fourth follows quickly) in London. All have had their right forefinger severed cleanly and expertly. Inspector Gregson (Matthew Boulton) is in charge of the investigation and involves Holmes (Rathbone), which puts Watson (Nigel Bruce) in the soup very quickly. Watson is totally convinced that hypnotism is a fraud, and is embarrassed to find he has been hypnotized in front of a crowd.
Holmes himself is convinced of two things. First, that the killer is not insane at all, but is purposeful and is killing not for thrills but for money. And second, that Professor Moriarty (Henry Daniell) is behind it all.
The first blackmail victim we see is Sir George Fenwick (pronounced “Fennick” and played by Paul Cavanagh). And hypnotism is also used on a military man, Williams (Tom Bryson).¬†Moriarty’s lovely accomplice, the hypnotist, is Lydia (Hillary Brooke). Her maid is Crandon (Sally Shepherd, who also appeared in The House of Fear), and Mary Gordon appears again as Mrs. Hudson.
The film is short, but tightly constructed, and moves along with a snap. It’s good work and enjoyable, though I am not fond of the title for two reasons: First, I don’t think you should ever have a color in the title unless the film was photographed in color. Second, the title is much too bland for Holmes’s version of a Ripper story.
I liked seeing so many of what by this time had become the Sherlock Repertory Company at Universal. And the two off-camera stalwarts are evident again: the screenplay is by Bertram Millhauser and the direction is by Roy William Neill.

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