A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
It was William Gillette who gave Sherlock Holmes his trademark curved pipe. According to "The Annotated Sherlock Holmes," by Arthur Conan Doyle (pp. 107-08), although Holmes often smoked a pipe in the stories, it was never a pipe with a curved stem. Gillette had trouble saying his lines with a straight-stem pipe and therefore switched to a curved-stem pipe, which has since become a trademark of the Sherlock Holmes character. See more »
The sign outside Dr. (John) Watson's office reads G. WATSON, M.D. Either nobody noticed the art director's mistake or, more likely, they didn't want to go to the time and expense of making a new sign. See more »
There are two things to recommend this film. First of all, it is in marvelous condition for something made in 1916. Secondly, we get to see the famous William Gilette, who played the great detective over 1000 times on the stage. This version is the stage version, sans most of the dialogue. The story is a bit confusing at first, but it involves a young woman whose sister had an affair with royalty. She has letters that would prove embarrassing to a prince. Holmes has been hired to get those letters (like in "A Scandal in Bohemia"). There are a man and his wife, the Larabees, who also want to get their hands on those letters in order to turn a profit. Enter Moriarity, Holmes' arch rival. There are a series of ridiculous plots that don't work because people are stupid. The young woman is clueless. She also becomes a love interest for Holmes. This is out of bounds in the canon. One thing lacking is that Holmes is uninteresting and dull. He is coy and sad. His overconfidence is his greatest trait and he has none of that here. Still, as a period piece, it is fun.
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