I am not really sure why I picked this film up and watched it. The only Sherlock Holmes films I have ever seen is Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which is not even based on a Doyle story, and which I watched in order to round out my appreciation for Wilder, not because I am a Sherlock Holmes fan, and The Young Sherlock Holmes, which I watched as a kid. But of course I at least know that the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Holmes films are considered classics, and decided I had to get around to watching one. As a fan of so many other things from Victorian England, I should really be a Sherlock Holmes fan, but for some reason I have never been able to get into detective fiction from any era. But that is not to say I couldn’t find anything to enjoy here.
The Woman in Green tells the story of Holmes as he helps Scotland Yard track down a serial killer who has been killing women around London and lopping off their fingers. “Jack the Ripper killed women from one walk of life in one part of the city,” Rathbone says in his very fey manner of speaking. “We are dealing with something infinitely more sinister. Someone who kills woman from all walks of life, in different parts of the city.” Holmes eventually uncovers an elaborate blackmail plot masterminded by his archenemy, Moriarty.