Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (The Sleeping Cardinal)


The film is public domain.

The Sleeping Cardinal is a 1931 in film UK mystery film directed by Leslie S. Hiscott and starring Arthur Wontner and Ian Fleming (actor). It is unrelated to the Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes films.

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


  • Arthur Wontner as Sherlock Holmes
  • Ian Fleming (actor) as Dr. Watson
  • Philip Hewland as Inspector Lestrade
  • Jane Welsh as Kathleen Adair
  • Norman McKinnel as Professor Moriarty, alias Col. Henslowe
  • Minnie Rayner as Mrs. Hudson
  • Leslie Perrins as Ronald Adair
  • Gordon Begg as Marston, the butler
  • William Fazan as Thomas Fisher
  • Sydney King as Tony Rutherford
  • Louis Goodrich as Colonel Sebastian Moran
  • Charles Paton as J.J. Godfrey

Critical reception

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



Category:1931 films
Category:British films
Category:British mystery films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films directed by Leslie S. Hiscott
Category:Sherlock Holmes films

Julius Hagen

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