Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
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
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
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
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every 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  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)