During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
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 <Jhpreunin@aol.com>
One of the picture's main movie posters featured a long text preamble that read: "What you don't know about Sherlock Holmes has made a great motion picture. Everyone knows about the lightning-quick mind, the dazzling wit, the magnifying glass. But what about the little glass vials he so cunningly kept hidden. And what about the security blunder that almost cost the British Empire its navy. And what about the woman who spent the night with him". See more »
Towards the end, when the submarine sinks we see a bible and a bottle of champagne float to the surface - alas the bottle of champagne would not float. See more »
We all have occasional failures. Fortunately Dr. Watson never writes about mine.
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The difficulties in producing 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes' are denoting for an aging director who refused to accept a change in the film industry. Originally, this film was more than three hours long and an anthology of Holmes' most tricky cases. Today's version is not that complex and emotionally flatter. It was shortened at the instigation of United Artists because other films with over-length of that time (like 'Star' (1968) by Robert Wise) flopped.
But, Wilder's film is still a little masterpiece, mainly due to the brilliant camera work of Christopher Challis with wonderful shots full of tender sensation and a certain wistfulness. Sadly without big success at the cash boxes which would have been more than deserved.
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