- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
One of the better Wilder/Diamond collaborations, in my opinion. I'd place it just below "The Apartment" and "Some Like It Hot" and a considerable distance above "Fortune Cookie" and "Kiss Me Stupid." Although the screenplay has no shortage of the patented Wilder/Diamond zingers, and though there are a couple madcap scenes (Dr. Watson carousing with both male and female Russian ballet dancers, The Loch Ness monster overturning a boat with Holmes, Watson, and a beautiful German spy in it) the prevailing tone of this film is melancholic. And the conduit for that tone is the performance of Robert Stephens who, for my dough, is the best Holmes I've seen; witty, intelligent, brooding, misogynistic, excited when on a case, bored when not and, above all, sad. Stephens was a great Shakespearean actor who, like Burton, battled various demons and it shows in his work. Colin Blakely is good as Watson, but he doesn't really break out of the mold of the exasperated sidekick who is one or two steps behind the master that Nigel Bruce created. Genevieve Page, who was so great as the dykeish madam in "Belle De Jour," is properly alluring, and charming as the woman who almost breaks through the wall of Holmes' distrust of women. There are a couple scenes that don't work (the one with Queen Victoria and the submarine really fizzles) and the plot, as Roger Ebert pointed out, reeks of standardness, but I found that, when a doleful Holmes takes his cocaine needle into his room and shuts the door, indicating the film's close, I didn't want it to end. Therefore, let's give it a B plus.
Not Really Messing With Holmes,
This is fun. It wouldn't be if it had strayed too far from the Holmes persona or if it were not a good movie. Holmes is a favorite from childhood, and odd take-offs on him are generally not appreciated. I have settled on the Jeremy Brett series as the definitive version, but enjoy others that are well done. To me, with remakes and other versions, if the piece is well done, it is not only acceptable but enjoyable. With remakes, I don't know what's worse - it being a general flop as a movie or their changing it all around and calling it the same thing. Sometimes, both happen. Usually, if you like the subject matter, you will probably like a good adaptation, if a bit more inventive that the source material. The Seven Percent Solution movie was well done and enjoyable.I haven't seen a lot of Robert Stephens, but have appreciated what I have. I looked him up and found that this was pretty light fare for his experience. This is a quality portrayal by him, and the others do a good job as well. The overall production is pleasing. The Dr. Watson portrayal mystifies a bit, that here and in other things, they make him sort of ditsy. That doesn't fit the original stories, nor what Holmes' temperament would seem to tolerate as a companion or assistant with his careful work. Maybe it came from the early Rathbone series with Nigel Bruce. Whether intentional or not, he nearly always had a bumbler quality to his portrayal.This is a worthy production in all aspects, which I would think garnered some critical approval at its time of release. I can see why it would take the public a while to adjust to seeing Sherlock Holmes as presented here. But, it speaks of the film's overall quality that it has aged well.
This is not a Holmes story but a version of what holmes was as a thinking breathing and feeling entity . This is also a Great Billy Wilder movie with all of his trademark touches, Humor, timing , subtlty and most of all his ability to allow the audience to empathize with the main character and all his strengths and weaknesses. this movie if are willing to indulge has the ability of all great movies, to stay with you long after you finish the last reel.
- Ken Simpson
It's a great movie, marred by studio interference once again cutting out two other episodes of the story. It's a refreshing take on the Sherlock Holmes stories with some absurd moments and wit, i've grown to love this movie more and more over the years whilst also appreciating great Holmes' such as Cushing, Rathbone, Plummer and Brett. Robert Stephen's is an interesting, humourous and valid portrayal.
Horrible take on Sherlock Holmes
- Dicky Neely
Anyone who is a serious, or even casual, fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories will find this treatment to be one of the most abominable films yet made about the great sleuth. Horrible casting, poor writing and even worse acting are the hallmarks of this deplorable film. Don't waste your time.