Terror by Night

Synopsis: Holmes is hired by Roland Carstairs to prevent the theft of the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond owned by Carstairs' mother, Lady Margaret. Believing the diamond will be stolen on a train trip from London to Edinburgh, Holmes deftly switches diamonds with Lady Margaret while in her compartment. Soon after, Roland is murdered and the fake diamond is stolen. Red herrings abound as Holmes, aided by Dr. Watson and Inspector Lestrade, discover the murderer's hiding place and deduce that long-time foe Moriarty's henchman Colonel Sebastian Moran is somehow involved in the crime.
Director(s): Roy William Neill
Production: Focus Film Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
60 min

The Star of Rhodesia

is one of the most famous

of the Earth's treasures.

First touched

by the fingers

of the humble


It would have

been better

had it never been found...

for all those

who possessed it

came to sudden and

violent death.

Our story opens in London

within the sound of

bow bells.

In the shadow

of Tower Bridge

is the carpenter's

shop of Mock and Son,

coffin makers.

A beautiful job

if I may so.

You'll be sure to have it

at the

undertakers in time?

Of course.

The Scotch Express

leaves Uston Station

at 7:
30 tonight.

That leaves

very little time

for the arrangement

of the body.

Your mother is it not?


You are taking

her to Scotland?

Yes, Edinburgh,

her home.

Oh thank you.

Rather a nuisance

traveling by train...

ain't it?

Off with you.

Go on get about

your business.


I'm terribly sorry.

Mr. Holmes.


I was afraid you wouldn't

get here in time.

I was studying the faces

of our fellow passengers.

Fascinating hobby

and sometimes most


Lady Margaret is aboard

the train I presume?

Oh yes, mother's

expecting you.

I reserved a compartment

for you and your

friend, Doctor Watson.

As a matter of fact,

it's in this coach here,

just ahead of

the luggage van.

Day coach?

Yes the seats

are all taken.

Mother wasn't interested

in a bed so much

as she was into

getting to Edinburgh.

So naturally it

wasn't very difficult

to persuade her to

travel in a day coach.


It had been open to take

on additional passengers.

So I observed.

I say it was awfully

decent of you to come


the fact that

I was so secretive

about it all.

Mr. Dear Mr. Carstairs,

there was no

need for secrecy

I already knew.

You knew that mother

insisted on bringing

the Star of Rhodesia

with her to London?

And that while here

an attempted has been

made to steal it.

Did Scotland Yard

tell you that?

Oh no my dear

Mr. Carstairs.

The fact that your mother

owns the famous diamond

is common knowledge.

She came down to London

to attend the reception

at Buckingham Palace,

and quite naturally,

wore the Star

of Rhodesia.

You want me to

accompany you

back to your home

in Edinburgh.

Therefore, an attempt

must have been made

to steal the Star

of Rhodesia

while you were

here in London.

It seems simple the

way you explain it,

Mr. Holmes.

Thank you.

If you don't mind,

I'll wait here for my

friend Doctor Watson.

I can't think

what's keeping him.

Mother and I will

be expecting you.

Oh could I take

this for you?

Oh I'd be much

obliged. Thank you.

We'll be in

compartment 'E.'


Ticket please.

Here's your carriage sir.

Well, well, well

look who's here,

Inspector Lestrade.

Why Mr. Holmes.

Taking you a

trip, Inspector?

Fishing hey.

Bit of a holiday.

Oh it's very nice.



Oh yes, yes.

Rather large rods for

trout aren't they?

Salmon perhaps.

Well, as a

matter of fact,

I'm going mostly

for the rest.

As a matter of fact

you're on a job for

Scotland Yard aren't you?

I trust this is

the right carriage?

This is where we take

care of the overflow sir.

I see.

The porter will

take your bags.

I'll carry this myself

if you don't mind.

Ready to go sir.

Half past seven hey?

We always leave on time.

Mind your head sir.


Coming Holmes!


All right Holmes

I'm coming.

I beg your pardon.

I beg yours.

Thank you for your

timely assistance.

Really Watson aren't

you a little stout

for this sort of thing?

Rubbish, ideal weight

for a man of my age.

Ran into an old friend

of mine, Duncan Bleek.

Major of the fourth

Indian regiment.

Major Duncan Bleek this

is Sherlock Holmes.

How do you do sir?

Likewise I've heard

quite a lot about you.


Retired fifteen years ago.

As a matter of fact,

we were reminiscing

about India.

We didn't realize

how late it was.

Stays light so

long these days

we almost missed

the train.

Yes so I've observed.

In here sir.

Thank you.

Doctor would you

care to join me

in a glass of whiskey

and a dash of soda

before dinner?

Well now that's

a good idea.

What's this all

about Holmes?

Did you ever hear of

Lady Margaret Carstairs

famous diamond of the

Star of Rhodesia?

I read something last week

about the old girl

being in London

with a bauble

wasn't it Holmes?

Yes it was.

She's on this train.

That's while we're here

to see that this

bauble as you call it

gets safely back to

its vault at Edinburgh.

Sounds to me...

sounds to me like a

police routine job.

That's where you're

wrong old fellow.

In an attempt to make

away with it from London

was unsuccessful.

A second attempt will,

in all probability,

be made on this train.


What makes you say that?

Well it seems

more than likely

that the people who

planned the first attempt

were not discouraged

by one failure

and will stop and nothing

to insure success

the second time.

Sounds like Lestrade's

cup of tea to me.


He's on this train.

Oh is he?

Giving an excellent

imitation of Isaac Walden.

Pardon gents.

Come in Mr. Holmes.

My friend and colleague,

Doctor Watson.

How do you do?

I thought it better

to engage Mr. Holmes

after what

happened in London.

No doubt you're

an efficient person

but I don't think

there's any need

for a policeman.


How long have you

been in possession

of the Star of

Rhodesia, Lady Margaret?

Twenty-five years.

You know it may

seem strange to you

but I've never

actually seen it.

I suppose there's no harm

since we're paying

you to guard it.



May I?

Do by all means.

Thank you.

Great Scott!

What a remarkable stone.

My husband

gave it to me

on our fifth wedding


Four hundred and


carats isn't it?

The original diamond was

over seven hundred carats.


Your father had it cut.

Less ostentatious.

Ostentatious, it's as

big as a duck's head.

Watson please.

I'm sorry.

Thank you Lady Margaret.

We will be as

unobtrusive as possible.

That will be a novelty

from a policeman.

Now if you wouldn't mind

telling us where

are compartment is.

Oh I am sorry Mr. Holmes.

Oh thank you.

Lady Margaret.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night.


She called us policemen.

What's wrong with

being a policeman?

Oh hello Lestrade.

Where are you going?

The inspector's

going to Scotland

to fish for salmon.

Oh really?

The season doesn't

start for another month

but you wouldn't

know that would you?

Who says I'm going

to fish for salmon?



Excuse me please.




On the train?

Scotland Yard I heard.

I warned you.

Mr. Holmes?


This way please.

Oh there you are Holmes.

Try some of this

curry, it's excellent

Steak and Kidney

Pudding please.

Of course the Bengal curry

doesn't compare

to that of Madras

It's the quality

of the mutton

that makes the difference

don't you think?

The meats unimportant.

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Frank Gruber

Frank Gruber (born February 2, 1904, Elmer, Minnesota, died December 9, 1969, Santa Monica, California) was an American writer. He was an author of stories for pulp fiction magazines. He also wrote dozens of novels, mostly Westerns and detective stories. Gruber wrote many scripts for Hollywood movies and television shows, and was the creator of three TV series. He sometimes wrote under the pen names Stephen Acre, Charles K. Boston and John K. Vedder. Gruber said that as a 9-year-old newsboy, he read his first book, "Luke Walton, the Chicago Newsboy" by Horatio Alger. During the next seven years he read a hundred more Alger books and said they influenced him professionally more than anything else in his life. They told how poor boys became rich, but what they instilled in Gruber was an ambition at age nine or 10, to be an author. He had written his first book before age 11, using a pencil on wrapping paper. Age 13 or 14, his ambition died for a while but several years later it rose again and he started submitting stories to various magazines, like Smart Set and Atlantic Monthly. Getting rejected, he lowered his sights to The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers, with no more success. The pulps were getting noticed and Gruber tried those but with no success. As a story came back with a rejection slip, he would post it off again to someone else, so he could have as many as forty stories going back and forth at different times, costing him about a third of his earnings in postage. Erle Stanley Gardner called him the fighter who licked his weight in rejection slips. February 1927, he finally sold a story. It was bought by The United Brethren Publishing House of Dayton. It was called "The Two Dollar Raise" and he got a cheque through for three dollars and fifty cents. Answering an ad in the Chicago Tribune, he got a job editing a small farm paper. In September he got a better paid job in Iowa and soon found himself editing five farm papers. He had lots of money and even wrote some articles for the papers but found he had no time to write the stories he wanted to write. In 1932 the Depression hit, and he lost his job. 1932 to 1934 were his bad years. He wrote and wrote, many stories typed out on an old "Remington" but of the Sunday School stories, the spicy sex stories, the detective stories, the sports stories, the love stories, very few sold, with some companies paying him as little as a quarter of a cent per word. He had a few successes and remained in Mt. Morris, Illinois for 14 months before deciding to head to New York on July 1, 1934. There were numerous publishing houses in New York and he could save money on postage but this led to him walking miles to deliver manuscripts as he had so little money, not even enough for food most of the time. He stayed in a room in the Forty Fourth Street Hotel ($10.50 per week). In his book, The Pulp Jungle (1967), Gruber details the struggles (for a long time, at least once a day he had tomato soup, which was free hot water in a bowl, with free crackers crumbled in and half a bottle of tomato sauce added) he had for a few years and numerous fellow authors he became friendly with, many of whom were famous or later became famous. Early December 1934 and with endless rejection slips, he got a phone call from Rogers Terrill. Could he do a 5,500 word filler story for Operator #5 pulp magazine by next day? He did and got paid. Even better, they wanted another one next month, and another. He was then asked to do a filler for Ace Sports pulp, which sold. Gruber's income from writing in 1934 was under $400. In 1935, his stories were suddenly wanted and he earned $10,000 that year. His wife came to live with him (she had been living with relatives) and he lived the good life, moving into a big apartment and buying a Buick ($750). January 1942, Gruber decided to try Hollywood, having heard about the huge sums some stories sold for and stayed there till 1946. Gruber—who stated that only seven types of Westerns existed—wrote more than 300 stories for over 40 pulp magazines, as well as more than sixty novels, which had sold more than ninety million copies in 24 countries, sixty five screenplays, and a hundred television scripts. Twenty five of his books have sold to motion pictures, and he created three TV series: Tales of Wells Fargo, The Texan and Shotgun Slade. His first novel, The Peace Marshall, which was rejected by every agent in New York at the time, became a film called "The Kansan", starting Richard Dix. The book has been reprinted many times with total sales of over one million copies. He bragged that he could write a complete mystery novel in 16 days and then use the other 14 days of the month to knock out a historical serial for a magazine. His mystery novels included The French Key (for which he sold the motion picture rights for $14,000 in 1945) and The Laughing Fox. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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