A dead body is found floating in the ocean. The man was from the ship the Thaysia that came in from Benghazi. Down at the docks Sherlock Holmes observes that Professor Moriarty has been waiting for the ships that have been coming in from Benghazi. Holmes wants to know why. Holmes sends Jenkins to follow him. Jenkins shows up later at Holmes’ rooms, stabbed and dying. Inspector Cooper (Hans Nielsen) from Scotland Yard is called. When asked if Holmes has any idea who killed the man he readily implicates Professor James Moriarty (Hans Sohnker). Cooper knows Moriarty as a reputable archeologist and finds in unbelievable that he could have anything to do with murder.
Before he died Jenkins reveals the names Hare and Eagle, the name of a pub. In a room above the pub Moriarty meets with a man from the Thaysia called Samuels (Corrado Annicelli). It appears that he and another man had been in prison in Egypt. The second man is the floater found in the water. A third man managed to get away with a jewel encrusted box containing a necklace that had belonged to Cleopatra. The third man was Peter Blackburn (Wolfgang Lukschy). Samuels wants revenge on Blackburn for being in prison for six years and Moriarty wants the necklace. Listening at the chimney on the roof Holmes learns of Blackburn’s existence. A look at the newspaper archives tells him about the necklace and that Moriarty had been in Egypt at the time in his capacity as an archeologist.
Holmes and Watson locate the home of Peter Blackburn but by the time they get there another murder has happened. Blackburn’s wife Ellen (Senta Berger) and his friend Paul King (Ivan Desny) have already called the area police, Inspector French (Bernard Lajarrige), to tell him Blackburn was killed by a burglar. When Holmes gets there the situation tells him a different story. Unraveling the true facts brings Holmes right to Moriarty’s door step. This is where the real cat and mouse game begins.
“Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace” AKA “Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes” was released in 1962 and was directed by Terence Fisher. It is a West German-French-Italian co-production. It is also a krimi movie. The screenplay was written by Curt Siodmak.
While filming the scenes that take place in the sewers with Christopher Lee and Leon Askin they noticed that the smell was bad, even for a sewer. Later they learned that the area was used during WWII to make poison gas.
There are a few things that are just a little off with this film. The movie appears to date somewhere around 1910-1920. The music score, however, is more for a sixties comedy heist film than a Sherlock Holmes movie. The film was dubbed into English using other actors rather than any of the English speaking actors, including Lee. The reason for the unusual dubbing has to do with the German style of film production. The movie was shot without live sound. All the voices were dubbed in post production.
Still you do get Christopher Lee and if you ignore the dubbing he does a good job of playing a somber yet obsessive intellectual. It’s not a bad movie it just has a few variations from the usual Holmes style. Whatever type of Sherlock Holmes you are use to, this is different. If you don’t compare it to other Sherlock Holmes films or actors it’s actually entertaining. I enjoyed it.