Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
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>
With a 260-page script and a budget of $10 million, this was set to be a 165-minute Road Show picture with an intermission for comfort. It was to be the "Big One" for Billy Wilder. The shooting schedule ran for six months and resulted in a rough-cut that came in at three hours and 20 minutes. The film was originally structured as a series of very specifically structured linked episodes, each with a particular title and theme. The opening sequence was to feature Watson's grandson in London claiming his inherited dispatch box from Cox & Co. and there was also a flashback to Holmes' Oxford days to explain his distrust of women. All were shot, but deleted from the final print. So what happened? Well, it appears that United Artists suffered a number of major film flops in 1969 that pretty much scuppered the road show format for Wilder's massive project. Studio execs ordered the film to be cut to fill a regular theatrical running time, whittling it down to a 125-minute version. The episodic format made the pruning process relatively simple, so cut were the opening sequence, the Oxford flashback and two full episodes entitled "The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners" at 15 minutes and "The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room" at 30 minutes. We can only hope that the full footage can one day be restored, although a full print is not currently thought to exist. See more »
Sulfuric acid will not produce chlorine gas when mixed with water. You
need Hydrochloric acid to do that. See more »
[the doorbell rings]
Were you expecting someone?
Not at this time of night.
Perhaps Mrs Hudson is entertaining.
I've never found her so.
See more »
A marvelous, delightful, and must see look at the best know and most famous consulting detective.
Of the films on Sherlock Holmes which have been made, this Billy Wilder version is a masterful blend of drama and comedy. It also has excellent score to match this marvelous film and its main character.
Robert Stephens has captured the mind set of Holmes with a bit of humor added. However, his performance seems slightly detracted with a touch of femininity, but works well within the framework of the film. Holmes, one of the best minds in England, also has a dark side.
Colin Blakely is a fun and delightful bumbling Dr. John Watson, as one might expect in a comic and light hearted film of this nature.
Who else to play Mycroft, but the very talented and marvelous actor, Christopher Lee, who is always a treat to watch.
Genevieve Page is an absolute beautiful and charming woman, making the perfect mystery woman, until her true identity is revealed. We discover a bit of Sherlock's past plans to have wed. But Ms. Page has become the only other woman that has managed to steel the affections of Sherlock's heart.
Over all, an excellent film and a must for any one who enjoys Sherlock Holmes. There is some silly and fun parts to this film, but it only adds to the color and favor of the film and characters. Keep in mind that this is not the PBS series in which you have an entirely different style of Holmes and Watson.
A tid bit for the true movie and Holmes' buffs who enjoy this film. The movie runs over 2 hours, but rumors exists that @50 minutes of the film were cut out before it was released. How marvelous it would be if the 50 minutes were found and added back to the film so we could see the full vision of what Billy Wilder wanted us to see. This leaves us with a real mystery as to what was left on a cutting room floor to be swept out. Or was it swept out? Perhaps as the film begins, the words of Dr. Watson are correct, "Somewhere in the vaults in a bank in London is a tin dispatch box with my name on it...". ???
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