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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Robert Stephens
Colin Blakely
Genevieve Page
Christopher Lee
Tamara Toumanova.
Directors
Billy Wilder.
Screenwriters
I A L Diamond
Billy Wilder.
Running Time
121 minutes

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The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes
A loving, wry recreation of the Victorian world of Arthur Conan Doyle


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Plot
The cases Dr. Watson deemed too scandalous to write up. A fiendish plot takes in bleached canaries, missing midgets, sinister Trappists, the Loch Ness Monster and Queen Victoria herself.


Review
Originally a three-hour epic, this 1970 movie was taken from its creator and mutilated by the wholesale lopping of entire episodes. What remains is so wonderful that those meddling studio philistines should be sought out in their retirement homes and cemetery plots, and shouted at very loudly.

A loving, wry recreation of the Victorian world of Arthur Conan Doyle, it has Robert Stephens as a Holmes whose deductions and repartee are tossed off with a touch of Oscar Wilde. To the fury and discomfort of Watson (Colin Blakely), he even pretends to be gay, though we learn he is really a cynical romantic. The hero is satirised, but remains a hero. Elsewhere, the period settings are sumptuous, the Miklos Rozsa score is seductive, and there's great character work from Irene Handl (a sarcastic Mrs. Hudson) and Christopher Lee (a pompous brother Mycroft).


Verdict
A true evocation of the spirit of the Strand Magazine, this is the best Holmes movie ever made and sorely underrated in the Wilder canon.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes
Empire Star Rating

Overlong and has a disappointing climax

dsds ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Platter at 14:50, 19 August 2010 | Report This Post


Overlong and has a disappointing climax

mud ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Platter at 14:50, 19 August 2010 | Report This Post


Private life of Holmes

An underrated classic by Billy Wilder. See it now. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 18:32, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


Private life of Holmes

An underrated classic by Billy Wilder. See it now. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 18:32, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


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