Monday, October 17, 2011

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

Sherlock Holmes and his trusty companion Watson embark on their greatest adventure yet to help a grieving widow in a case that involves missing midgets, Trappist monks, and the Loch Ness monster! With THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, director Billy Wilder takes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic characters and adds his own signature brand of humor in what was originally intended as an episodic road show picture. In its edited theatrical release, the structure and pacing become highly uneven between the first and second acts, although the strength of Wilder's script rarely falters as a result. Robert Stephens is simply brilliant as the famed detective, delivering plenty of dry wit and playful androgyny that set his performance apart from all others. Colin Blakely is equally enjoyable as Dr. John Watson, Holmes' excitable colleague who has turned an effeminate cocaine addict into a modern myth thanks to the somewhat fictionalized accounts that he has been submitting to The Strand periodical. Christopher Lee also appears in another dashing role as Holmes' elder brother Mycroft, who is shown to be of superior intellect and social standing despite his lack of celebrity. THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is an exciting, edgy, and wildly entertaining twist on the old familiar characters that explores many of the unanswered questions behind the world's finest consulting detective.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES:
WITHOUT A CLUE, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, MURDER BY DECREE.

3 comments:

  1. Good to know... just started getting into the classic Brit style mystery, Holmes and Christie. Will have to wait on this one b/c it seems the viewer should have a pretty good familiarity with Doyle's stories.

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  2. I saw this on tv when I was a kid. As a Sherlock fan, I don't remember being very amused by this portrayal. But the Loc Ness monster was cool, so all was forgiven.

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  3. Will the Triple Feature from MGM is well worth the investment, including Hammer's HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES and WITHOUT A CLUE starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. Both good stuff!

    Laz I would have felt the same way as a kid, and much of the humor would have been lost on me, so it may be the right time to go back to the film now that the humor will likely click. I had a ton of fun with it!

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