The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Crime  |  29 October 1970 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,296 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 58 critic

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.



(characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) , , 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to a famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston
Avanti! (1972)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A successful businessman goes to Italy to arrange for the return of his tycoon-father's body only to discover dad died with his mistress of long standing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill
Fedora (1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress out of retirement.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Marthe Keller, Hildegard Knef
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Buddy Buddy (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Paula Prentiss
Irma la Douce (1963)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Paris, an ex-cop falls in love with a prostitute, and tries to get her out of that life by paying for all of her time. Not so easy...

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Comedy about Coca-Cola's man in West Berlin, who may be fired if he can't keep his American boss's daughter from marrying a Communist.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During World War 2, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in 5 excavations across Egypt.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi cafe singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sherlock Holmes
Colin Blakely ...
Gabrielle Valladon (as Genevieve Page)
Irene Handl ...
Mollie Maureen ...
Catherine Lacey ...
Woman in Wheelchair
Peter Madden ...
Michael Balfour ...
James Copeland ...
John Garrie ...
First Carter
Godfrey James ...
Second Carter


Director Billy Wilder adds a new and intriguing twist to the personality of intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes. One thing hasn't changed however: Holmes' crime-solving talents. Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments. Can the sleuths make sense of all this and solve the mystery? Written by Joel Preuninger <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


My private life is my own affair See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

29 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Íntima de Sherlock Holmes  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


By the time of filming, Christopher Lee had become famous as Count Dracula; when he and Billy Wilder walked on the shores of Loch Ness at dusk, with bats circling overhead, Wilder said to him, 'You must feel quite at home here.' See more »


There are references to HMS Jonah undergoing sea trials in the Moray Firth from her base in Loch Ness. The only link between Loch Ness and the sea is the River Ness which is broad and shallow and would not allow the passage of a submarine. See more »


Watson: Wouldn't it be ironic if Holmes' last case were a case of pneumonia?
See more »


References Hamlet (1948) See more »


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Opus 24
by Miklós Rózsa (as Miklos Rozsa)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Strange but enjoyable
5 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) and Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) get involved in a very weird case involving a mysterious French woman (Geneuieve Page), Sherlock's brother Mycroft (Christopher Lee), midgets, Scotland, the Queen and the Loch Ness Monster! Believe it or not they all come together. I originally saw this on TV back in the late 70s but it was so heavily edited (for instance, the entire first half hour was gone because it dealt with gay characters which was still a taboo on TV back then) that I couldn't follow it and gave up. Now it's back on uncut and I'm glad I'm finally able to see it.

A very strange movie but lots of fun. Some people think this is a spoof. It really isn't but there are some very funny moments--my favorite is at the beginning when Holmes blasts Watson for how he writes about his cases--"Watson, I've never said 'elementary my dear Watson' in my life!""Poetic license Holmes". There's also quite a few funny one liners mostly delivered with great relish by Stephens and it does deal with the sexual relations of Holmes and Watson (it was hinted that they were gay lovers). But it does involve a very serious case and the jokes stop towards the end.

Stephens is actually very good as Holmes--he won't make you forget Basil Rathbone but he's not bad. Colin Blakely isn't as big a buffoon as Nigel Bruce was but he tends to overact a little. Page is just terrible as the mystery woman--but then again, English is her second language. Lee, surprisingly, is kind of stiff as Mycroft. He's a very good actor--I'm surprised to see him so bad.

The movie is very lavish (probably because Billy Wilder was involved)...a lot of money and attention was given to sets and costumes, and they actually went on location to shoot the end in Scotland. The cinematography is just beautiful and the movie was never dull. It doesn't always mix the comedy with the drama successfully but it works more often than it misses. As most people know this was HEAVILY edited before it was released and the uncut version doesn't seem to exist anymore. That's too bad but what remains is not bad. Worth catching...a must see for Holmes fans.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Yes, has everyone gone mad? weichikris
The Road Show Version - What Might Has Been ... dknow3
the current Downey film ? sherlock-37
Christopher Lee bald?! darthquincunx
every one gone mad? swalic
Robert Stephens' illness? tippusmaximus

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: