Cast & Crew
In England, Captain Longmore is found murdered, and police suspect that his son Roger is the killer. Roger is engaged to Mary Watson, daughter of Dr. Watson, the close associate of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson, anxious to clear Roger's name, urges Holmes to leave retirement to track down the real killer. In truth, the evil Dr. Moran was hired by Holmes's nemesis, Professor Moriarity, to poison Longmore in order to keep the captain from confessing his past involvement with the professor. Holmes sneaks aboard Moran's New York-bound ocean liner, by disguising himself as am Hungarian violinist who performs sleight-of-hand tricks for the passengers. In this guise, he obtains a written confession from Moran but replaces it with a blank piece of paper. He then pretends to be a steward, which allows him to paint the bottom of Moran's shoes and trail him to the cabin in which Moriarty hides. There, he finds Roger being held captive, and when Moriarty discovers the detective, he attempts to poison Holmes with the same rigged cigarette case he used on Longmore. Although Holmes recognizes the weapon and wears a steel thumb cover to thwart it, he pretends to be dying in order to encourage Moriarty to confess his deeds. The confession is recorded by a dictaphone which leads into the captain's quarters. Before Moriarty can be arrested, however, the villain poisons himself with the cigarette case. Later, Holmes watches happily as Mary and Roger are wed.
Harry T. Morey
The final lines of this film provide the first usage of Holmes' trademark phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson". The phrase does not appear in the writings of 'Arthur Conan Doyle' .
The film's press book notes that some scenes were filmed on location on an ocean liner in the New York harbor.