Sherlock Holmes (Eille Norwood)knows that Doctor Smith (Cecil
Humphreys) by contracting him with a rare Asiatic disease, but he just
can't prove it - so he pays the doctor a visit in disguise, only to have
the Doctor throw him out once he has looked through his disguise. However,
before he leaves, Holmes threatens to expose him. A few days later, Holmes
receives a box per messenger, a box in which he finds some kind of spring
that was supposed to prick his finger once the box was opened ...
falls gravely ill from some Asiatic disease, and the only one who can help
him now is none other than Doctor Smith - but when Smith faces the dying
detective, he can't but gloat, tells Holmes that it was actually the
spring in the box (which he has of course sent) that gave him the disease,
and since Holmes has only a few more minutes to live, Smith joyfully
confesses the murder of his assistant as well, the same way he killed
Holmes. Only he didn't kill Holmes, whose finger, as we know, was never
pricked by the spring in the box and who has only faked his disease to
lure Smith to his bedside. It's only now that Smith isn't really smith but
his servant (Joseph R.Tozer), but Holmes has foreseen even that and has
had the real Smith arrested while his servant made the whole confession
Hubert Willis plays Dr Watson.
A film that gives away too
much of the story (the whole business concerning the boobie-trapped box)
way too soon and loses much of its tension and suspense in the process.
And the final revelation that Smith has traded places with his servant
simply fails to make too much sense, because why would a servant gloat
about his master's crimes?
In all, a film that might be of interest for Sherlock
Holmes-afficionados, but as a detective story as such it just
fails to convine.