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The Sleeping Cardinal

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Sleeping Cardinal
The Sleeping Cardinal Poster.jpg
Modern Poster
Country UKD.jpg UK
Directed by Leslie S. Hiscott
Release Date 1931
Studio Julius Hagen Productions
Main Cast
Character Actor
Sherlock Holmes Arthur Wontner
Dr. Watson Ian Fleming
Prof. Robert Moriarty, alias Col. Henslowe Norman McKinnel
Inspector Lestrade Philip Hewland
Ronald Adair Leslie Perrins
Kathleen Adair Jane Welsh
Col. Sebastian Moran Louis Goodrich
Mrs. Hudson Minnie Rayner

The Sleeping Cardinal (also released as Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour) is a British 1931 B&W detective movie directed by Leslie S. Hiscott and starring Arthur Wontner as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson. The plot mainly draws inspiration from "The Empty House" and "The Final Problem".

The Sleeping Cardinal started a series of five movies (1931-1937) with Arthur Wontner portrayed Sherlock Holmes, one of which, The Missing Rembrandt (1932) is still considered lost.

The following weapons were used in the film The Sleeping Cardinal:

Webley Bulldog

A Webley Bulldog is seen in a box that Ronald Adair (Leslie Perrins) opens after a talk with Prof. Moriarty.

Belgian copy of a Webley Bulldog - .32. This gun has "bird's head" grip, like the screen revolver.
The Sleeping Cardinal-Bulldog-1.jpg

Pocket pistols

Both Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Wontner) and Prof. Robert Moriarty (Norman McKinnel) hold pocket pistols during the latter's visit on 221B Baker Street. These pistols very likely belong to the vast family of FN Model 1905, produced by various manufacturers in several countries.

For comparison: FN Model 1905 - .25 ACP
Holmes draws a pistol.
The Sleeping Cardinal-Pistol-2.jpg
Both Holmes' and Moriarty's pistols are seen. The guns differ in shape and size and are probably of two different models.
A lobby card shows Holmes and Moriarty conversing while their pistols are seen on the table. There is no such scene in the film itself.


A Blunderbuss is seen on the wall in Holmes' room. Nearly same premise interior, with same blunderbuss on the wall, is seen in Silver Blaze (1937), the last film in the series, started by The Sleeping Cardinal.

Flintlock Blunderbuss
A blunderbuss is seen on the wall. It's hard to identify the type of its lock; possibly this is a non-firing decorative "wall-hanger".

Air Gun

Moriarty (Norman McKinnel) uses an air gun in an attempt to kill Holmes from an empty house. This weapon appears to be a custom, likely non-functional prop.

Moriarty shoots the air gun.
The Sleeping Cardinal-AirGun-2.jpg
The Sleeping Cardinal-AirGun-3.jpg
The Sleeping Cardinal-AirGun-5.jpg
Inspector Lestrade (Philip Hewland) and Holmes (Arthur Wontner) examine the gun.

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