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The Sleeping Cardinal

The Sleeping Cardinal
U.S. trade ad in Moving Picture Daily
Directed by Leslie S. Hiscott
Produced by Julius Hagen
Written by Arthur Conan Doyle (stories)
Leslie S. Hiscott
H. Fowler Mear
Cyril Twyford
Starring Arthur Wontner
Ian Fleming
Philip Hewland
Jane Welsh
Music by John Greenwood
Cinematography Sydney Blythe
William Luff
Edited by Jack Harris
Distributed by Warner Brothers (UK)
First Division Pictures (US)
Release dates February 1931
Running time 84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Sleeping Cardinal is a 1931 British mystery film directed by Leslie S. Hiscott and starring Arthur Wontner and Ian Fleming.[1] The film is an adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, though it is not based on any one particular story it draws inspiration from "The Empty House" and "The Final Problem".[2] It is unrelated to the Basil Rathbone series of Holmes films which also began in the 1930s.

The film is also known as Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour in the USA.


  • Plot summary 1
  • Differences from sources 2
  • Cast 3
  • Critical reception 4
  • Soundtrack 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Plot summary

Opening with a silent sequence in silhouette within the Bank of England, we’re whisked to a London home where Foreign Office bureaucrat Ronnie Adair (Leslie Perrins) is once again winning handsomely whilst gambling at bridge. Adair is called to a meeting with The Sleeping Cardinal, a picture disguising the identity of Professor Moriarty (Norman McKinnel), and blackmailed into taking counterfeit money to Paris in his diplomatic pouch. Adair’s concerned sister calls for the assistance of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Wontner) and Dr. Watson (Ian Fleming) to investigate the reasons for her brothers gambling excesses and depressed moods. After Adair succumbs to an apparent suicide; Holmes derives from a trail of clues Moriarty's involvement.

Differences from sources


Critical reception

Allmovie wrote, "Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour got the Wontner Holmes series off to a rousing start." [3]



  1. ^ Michael_Elliott (1 February 1931). "IMDB". IMDb. 
  2. ^ "The Sleeping Cardinal". BFI. 
  3. ^ "Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie. 

External links

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