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The Speckled Band (1931 film)

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Director  Jack Raymond
Screenplay  W. P. Lipscomb
Country  United Kingdom
5.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama, Mystery
Story by  Arthur Conan Doyle
Language  English
The Speckled Band (1931 film) movie poster
Writer  Arthur Conan Doyle, W. P. Lipscomb
Release date  5 March 1931 (1931-03-05)
Initial release  March 5, 1931 (United Kingdom)
Cast  Raymond Massey (Sherlock Holmes), Angela Baddeley (Helen Stonor), Athole Stewart (Dr. John Watson), Nancy Price (Mrs Staunton)
Similar movies  Mr. Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, Young Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Without a Clue, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

The Speckled Band is a 1931 British film directed by Jack Raymond and an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", which features Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson investigating the fears of a young woman and the suspicious death of her sister.


The Speckled Band (1931 film) movie scenes

Sherlock holmes the speckled band 1979

Plot summary

The film begins on the Rylott estate with gypsies camping on the grounds. Inside the mansion, Violet Stonor screams in her bedroom and then collapses in the hallway. She is discovered by her sister Helen (Angela Baddeley). Violet's dying words are "the band, speckled." She then dies and their stepfather Dr. Grimesby Rylott (Lyn Harding) arrives.

The Speckled Band (1931 film) Watch and Download The Speckled Band courtesy of Jimbo Berkey

Soon there is an inquest into the mysterious death, and Rylott plots with the housekeeper and his Indian servant Ali. Watson attends the inquest as an old friend of the Stonor family in India. He acts protectively to Helen and advises her to consult Holmes if she ever feels in danger. At Baker Street later, Watson summarises the inquest to Holmes, describing the various witnesses and evidence. Holmes files it away in his system — he operates a strangely modern office with female secretaries and a voice recording device.

The Speckled Band (1931 film) The Speckled Band 1931 Silver in a Haystack

One year later, Helen Stoner is engaged, and her fiance must leave for a plantation in Rangoon for a year. Helen is afraid and suggests that they marry sooner, so that she may go with him to Rangoon. Dr. Rylott is upset by these plans, and decides to murder her to prevent the loss of her inheritance. Rylott forces Helen to move from her room into Violet's old room. The next day, Helen meets with Holmes and Watson in Baker Street they describe her case. Her sister Violet had been engaged to be married before she died, and Helen remembers hearing mysterious music that night. Now Helen is engaged and is also hearing the mysterious music again. Holmes questions her and sends her out of the room through a separate entrance, when her stepfather arrives. Dr. Rylott barges in and threatens Holmes, but he is not deterred.

The Speckled Band (1931 film) The Speckled Band movie 1931 The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

In the afternoon, Dr. Watson arrives alone to visit Helen Stonor while her stepfather is not home. Holmes is in disguise as a workman dealing with the repairs to the building. Together they investigate Dr. Rylott's room and discover several clues, such as a bowl of milk, a dog whip, and a mirror. Next, they investigate Violet's room, which has a bell-rope that doesn't ring, and a ventilator near the bed. The ventilator opens into Rylott's room but is hidden by a painting. When Rylott returns, Holmes and Watson temporarily leave Helen at the house, but will sneak into the room later to investigate.

That night, Helen spends the night within Violet's room, while Holmes and Watson secretly keep watch with her. After snake charming music plays, a snake enters the room through the ventilator, and Holmes attacks it, sending it back to Rylott's room. Rylott screams. Holmes, Watson, and Helen enter his room and discover Rylott dead from a snake bite. Holmes forces Ali the servant to charm the snake so they can put it in the safe. Violet's last words about a "speckled band" were in fact describing "a swamp adder, the deadliest snake in India". The venomous snake had been sent to Violet's room by Dr. Rylott to murder her for her inheritance. Rylott intended to do the same to Helen.

The Speckled Band (1931 film) The Speckled Band 1931

The movie ends with Holmes conducting an experiment in Baker Street. Watson arrives dressed for a wedding, and Holmes concludes that he is going to a wedding. Watson is pleased to tell Holmes that he is wrong. Watson has just come from the wedding of Helen Stoner and her groom. Holmes offers his "condolences" rather than congratulations. Watson says in amusement that "we all come to it," meaning marriage. After Watson leaves, Holmes disagrees quietly, "Not all, my dear Watson... not all."

Differences from short story

In the original story, a few names are different; for instance, Violet was Julia in the story; Stonor was spelled Stoner, and Rylott was Roylott. This movie blends the original short story with Arthur Conan Doyle's later play adaptation The Stonor Case, which added characters like Mrs. Staunton the housekeeper, Rodgers the butler, and the Indian servant Ali who plays snake charming music. Holmes investigates the case dressed as a workman doing the building repairs, whereas in the story he and Watson claimed to be architects working on the building.


  • Lyn Harding as Dr. Grimesby Rylott
  • Raymond Massey as Sherlock Holmes
  • Angela Baddeley as Helen Stonor
  • Nancy Price as Mrs. Staunton
  • Athole Stewart as Dr. John Watson
  • Marie Ault as Mrs Hudson
  • Stanley Lathbury as Rodgers
  • Charles Paton as Builder
  • Joyce Moore as Violet
  • Ivan Brandt as Curtis
  • References

    The Speckled Band (1931 film) Wikipedia
    The Speckled Band (1931 film) IMDb The Speckled Band (1931 film)