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A Study in Terror

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Director  James Hill
Music director  John Scott
Language  English
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama, Horror
Screenplay  Derek Ford, Donald Ford
Country  United Kingdom
A Study in Terror movie poster
Release date  4 November 1965 (World Premiere, London)
Based on  an original story by Derek & Donald Ford based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Writer  Donald Ford (original story and screenplay), Derek Ford (original story and screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (characters created by)
Cast  John Neville (Sherlock Holmes), Barbara Windsor (Annie Chapman), Judi Dench (Sally), Barry Jones (Duke of Shires), Robert Morley (Mycroft Holmes)
Similar movies  Murder by Decree, Mr. Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, From Hell, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Tagline  Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper! Here comes the original caped crusader!

A study in terror 1965 trailer

A Study in Terror is a 1965 British thriller film directed by James Hill and starring John Neville as Sherlock Holmes and Donald Houston as Dr. Watson. It was filmed at Shepperton Studios, London, with some location work at Osterley House in Middlesex.


A Study in Terror movie scenes

The film had its World Premiere at the Leicester Square Theatre in the West End of London on 4 November 1965.

A Study in Terror movie scenes

A study in terror trailer


A Study in Terror movie scenes

Although it is based on Conan Doyle's characters, the story is an original one, which has the famous detective on the trail of Jack the Ripper. In the dark alleys of nineteenth century London, the notorious Jack the Ripper committed a series of gruesome murders. The story of A Study in Terror challenges Sherlock Holmes to solve these horrific crimes. This leads Holmes through a trail of aristocracy, blackmail, and family insanity. Unlike Scotland Yard, and the real-life story, Holmes exposes the identity of the Ripper.


A Study in Terror movie scenes
  • John Neville as Sherlock Holmes
  • Donald Houston as Dr. Watson
  • John Fraser as Edward Osborne, Lord Carfax / Jack the Ripper
  • Anthony Quayle as Doctor Murray
  • Barbara Windsor as Annie Chapman
  • Adrienne Corri as Angela Osborne
  • Frank Finlay as Inspector Lestrade
  • Judi Dench as Sally Young
  • Charles R├ęgnier as Joseph Beck (as Charles Regnier)
  • Cecil Parker as Prime Minister
  • Barry Jones as Duke of Shires
  • Robert Morley as Mycroft Holmes
  • Dudley Foster as Home Secretary
  • Georgia Brown as The Singer
  • Peter Carsten as Max Steiner
  • Christiane Maybach as Polly Nichols
  • Kay Walsh as Cathy Eddowes
  • John Cairney as Michael Osborne
  • Edina Ronay as Mary Jane Kelly
  • Avis Bunnage as Landlady
  • Barbara Leake as Mrs. Hudson
  • Patrick Newell as PC Benson
  • Norma Foster as Elizabeth Stride
  • Terry Downes as Chunky
  • Reception

    A Study in Terror was released with reviews mixed to positive. Critics criticised the incorrect chronological order of murders carried out by the Ripper, but praised the strong performances from the cast for a low budget film. A Study in Terror received praise regarding John Neville and Donald Houston's portrayal of Holmes and Watson, comparing it to Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce's portrayals of the duo in the 1939-1946 Sherlock Holmes film series.

    Post-release history

    In 1966, the film was made into a novel by Ellery Queen and Paul W. Fairman. The novelisation is unusual in that it adds a framing story wherein Ellery Queen reads a manuscript that re-tells the actions of the film. The framing story was written by Ellery Queen and the novelisation of the film itself by Fairman. Several plot points, including most notably the identity of the murderer, were altered for the novel.

    The Holmes-Ripper idea was later taken up in Murder by Decree (1978), in which Frank Finlay reprised his role as Lestrade and Anthony Quayle once again had an important part (though this time as Sir Charles Warren of Scotland Yard).

    The film inspired the writing of Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds, blending the story of Sherlock Holmes and the world of H.G Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds.


    A Study in Terror (1965) was composed by John Scott in his first feature film score conducting the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (HSO 333)


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