Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
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

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Unfinished Business
2 Star Empire Rating
High Tide
3 Star Empire Rating
Blind
4 Star Empire Rating
A Second Chance
2 Star Empire Rating
Dreamcatcher
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating

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


submit to reddit


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

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

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



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Showrunner Beau Willimon Reveals 8 House Of Cards Secrets
On Kevin Spacey’s dog-dispatching and more…

21 Great Movie Cons
Fleece your friends with these duplicitous devices...

Empire Podcast 150: Margot Robbie
The Focus (and Wolf Of Wall Street) star from the Top Gear track...

Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)