The Best Sherlock Holmes Adaptations

by tacanderson | created - 23 Dec 2015 | updated - 23 Dec 2015 | Public

A work in progress.

I still need to add the Jeremy Brett versions of Holmes, who played Sherlock 41 times over 10 years, from 1984 to 1994

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1. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

57 Metascore

Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong

Votes: 558,157 | Gross: $209.03M

2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984–1985)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the mysteries of copper beeches, a Greek interpreter, the Norwood builder, a resident patient, the red-headed league, and one final problem.

Stars: Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Rosalie Williams, Eric Porter

Votes: 18,410

3. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)

PG | 113 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

To treat his friend's cocaine induced delusions, Watson lures Sherlock Holmes to Sigmund Freud.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Duvall, Nicol Williamson

Votes: 3,976

5. Murder by Decree (1979)

PG | 124 min | Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings, Susan Clark

Votes: 4,468

6. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983 TV Movie)

100 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes comes to the aid of his friend Henry Baskerville, who is under a family curse and menaced by a demonic dog that prowls the bogs near his estate and murders people.

Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: Ian Richardson, Donald Churchill, Denholm Elliott, Glynis Barber

Votes: 994

7. The Sign of Four (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Mystery

Hired by a young lady, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the strange recent deaths of her missing father's friends from the army, as well as the whereabouts of the Great Mogul, the second-largest diamond in the world.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Ian Richardson, David Healy, Thorley Walters, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 478

8. Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2000–2001)

Crime, Drama, Mystery

Certain events which had an impact on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while he was still a medical student under the supervision of Dr. Bell, his teacher and mentor, on whom the character of Sherlock Holmes is partly drawn from.

Stars: Ian Richardson, Charles Edwards, Simon Chandler, Mossie Smith

Votes: 525

9. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely, Geneviève Page

Votes: 9,791 | Gross: $3.30M

10. Sherlock Holmes (1954–1955)

30 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The adventures of master detective Sherlock Holmes as he and his assistant, Dr. Watson--and, somewhat reluctantly, the bumbling Inspector Lestrade--battle criminals in London.

Stars: Ronald Howard, Howard Marion-Crawford, Archie Duncan, Richard Larke

Votes: 720

11. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror, Mystery

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi

Votes: 8,519

13. Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death (1984 TV Movie)

72 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) has retired. But when Alec MacDonald (Gordon Jackson) asks him to take on another case, he says yes. There have been some mysterious murders, and there are ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Peter Cushing, John Mills, Anne Baxter, Ray Milland

Votes: 366

14. Sherlock (2010– )

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Votes: 736,422

15. Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

Approved | 65 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations, via their radio 'Voice of Terror', the Intellegence Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help in... See full summary »

Director: John Rawlins | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, Reginald Denny

Votes: 3,832

16. Dressed to Kill (1946)

Approved | 76 min | Crime, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Patricia Morison, Edmund Breon

Votes: 5,011

17. Terror by Night (1946)

Approved | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray, Dennis Hoey

Votes: 4,968

18. Pursuit to Algiers (1945)

Approved | 65 min | Adventure, Crime, Mystery

Holmes is recruited to escort the heir to a European throne safely back to his homeland after his father's assassination.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Marjorie Riordan, Rosalind Ivan

Votes: 3,061

19. The Woman in Green (1945)

Approved | 68 min | Drama, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke, Henry Daniell

Votes: 4,986

20. The House of Fear (1945)

Passed | 69 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Aubrey Mather, Dennis Hoey

Votes: 4,067

21. The Spider Woman (1943)

Approved | 63 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of so-called "pajama suicides". He knows the female villain behind them is as cunning as Moriarty and as venomous as a spider.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard, Dennis Hoey

Votes: 3,809

22. The Pearl of Death (1944)

Passed | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey, Evelyn Ankers

Votes: 3,581

23. The Scarlet Claw (1944)

Approved | 74 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster. But Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gerald Hamer, Paul Cavanagh

Votes: 4,426

24. Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

Passed | 68 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey, Arthur Margetson

Votes: 3,861

25. Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to Washington D.C. in order to prevent a secret document from falling into enemy hands.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Marjorie Lord, Henry Daniell

Votes: 3,529

26. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942)

Approved | 68 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Lionel Atwill, Kaaren Verne

Votes: 5,010

27. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Acquaintance (1980)
Episode: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Bloody Inscription (1979)

PG-13 | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When a murder happens with a bloody inscription and a ring left behind, puzzled Scotland Yard detectives go to Sherlock Holmes for help.

Director: Igor Maslennikov | Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Borislav Brondukov

Votes: 2,208

28. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Acquaintance (1980)

67 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Doctor Watson moves in with the eccentric Sherlock Holmes and they get a case to solve. A young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather after her sister dies under mysterious circumstances.

Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Mariya Solomina

Votes: 3,178

29. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (1980– )
Episode: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Hunt for the Tiger (1980)

65 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr. Watson executes Sherlock Holmes' will, who faced death after exposing Moriarty and his gang in the previous episode.

Director: Igor Maslennikov | Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Borislav Brondukov

Votes: 1,910

30. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (1980– )
Episode: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

63 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Mycroft Holmes hands Sherlock Holmes the case of the Master Blackmailer.

Director: Igor Maslennikov | Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Valentina Panina

Votes: 1,981

31. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (1980– )
Episode: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: Mortal Fight (1980)

65 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After upsetting the criminal underground in 'the Master Blackmailer' case, Sherlock Holmes has to face his archenemy: Prof. Moriarty.

Director: Igor Maslennikov | Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Borislav Brondukov

Votes: 2,228

32. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1981– )

154 min | Adventure, Crime, Mystery

When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his country house, Dr James Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes for help to save Sir Henry Baskerville, the only known heir, from the curse that haunts Baskerville family.

Stars: Vasiliy Livanov, Vitali Solomin, Rina Zelyonaya, Irina Kupchenko

Votes: 4,843

33. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Twentieth Century Approaches (1987– )

102 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Retired Sherlock Holmes and practicing Dr. Watson come back together to solve a puzzle in the beginning of the 20th century.

Stars: Boris Klyuev, Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Aleksandr Romantsov, Elena Safonova

Votes: 2,221

34. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

48 Metascore

Detective Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, who is carrying out a string of random crimes across Europe.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams

Votes: 401,451 | Gross: $186.85M

35. Elementary (2012–2019)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City.

Stars: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill

Votes: 96,788

36. House (2004–2012)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Mystery

An antisocial maverick doctor who specializes in diagnostic medicine does whatever it takes to solve puzzling cases that come his way using his crack team of doctors and his wits.

Stars: Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jesse Spencer

Votes: 387,438



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