The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935)
This film is based on Doyle's "The Valley of Fear" in which the Scowerers was loosely based on the Molly Maguires, a secret socety of Irish coal miners in mid-eighteenth century Pennsylvania. In the original short story the brand was used to mark their murder victims.
Watson : "What do you think of this curious mark on Douglas' forearm, Holmes? Do you think it's the sign of some secet society?" [00:22:00]
Holmes : That mark is the mark of the Scowerers, a secret society that terrorized the coal districts of the US." [00:31:00]
Ettie's father : "He's one of the bosses of the Scowerers."
Murdock: "The what?"
Ettie's father : "The scowerers. The society of murderers and blackmailers. The Ancient Order of Freemen, they call themselves."
Murdock: "Baloney. The Freemen are to be found in every town in this state. It's a society for charity and good fellowship."
Ettie's father : "Not here it ain't. It's just a murder gang."
Murdock: "Well, then why don't they bring them to justice? Tell me that."
Ettie's father : "Because no one dares give evidence against them. Juries don't dare to convict, the judge has to do as he's told and the police are all square." [00:36:00]
Ettie: "Oh Jack, I'll never believe anything bad of you. Not whatever happens."
Jack : "Well, I wouldn't be too sure of that Ettie; till even a guy like me can be on the level with a woman." [00:38:00]
Marvin: "You're okay with me as long as you're on the level. Get me?" [00:43:00]
Jack : "I'm on the level with you, Ettie" [00:52:00]
The film introduces several curious notes. Unexplained, in adopting the story to screen it was felt neccessary to introduce the idea that there was another Order of Freemen, "a society for charity and good fellowship". The English also appear to have difficulty with American criminal jargan, describing police who have been paid off, or squaredas in squared awayas being "square". Further usages of "on the level", as in honest, are more in keeping with actual usage.
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935). Directed by Leslie S. Hiscott, written by Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Fowler Mear. Arthur Wontner, Lyn Harding, Leslie Perrins, Jane Carr, Roy Emerton, Conway Dixon, Wilfrid Caithness, Edmund D'Alby, Ernest Lynds. 75 min. UK, English, Black and White, Mono.