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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

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.

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(characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
Cabby
James Copeland ...
Guide
John Garrie ...
First Carter
Godfrey James ...
Second Carter
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Anything But Elementary. [USA Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

29 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Íntima de Sherlock Holmes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Around this time, there were also plans to film the Leslie Bricusse musical " Baker Street " which debuted on Broadway in 1965. Fritz Weaver had played Holmes on stage, and Peter Sallis ( of " Wallace and Gromit " fame) was his Watson. Christopher Walken had played one of the villains. Due to its poor performance on Broadway (it played over 300 shows but had been hugely expensive to mount ) and the worry that it would cover much of the same ground as the Wilder project, it never materialised. See more »

Goofs

The events start in August 1887 and apparently take place in the following weeks or, at most, months. However, Mycroft Holmes tells Queen Victoria that Kaiser Wilhelm II had Count Zeppelin working on dirigibles that could drop bombs on Buckingham Palace. Wilhelm II did not become Kaiser until 15 June 1888, and Zeppelin did not start constructing rigid airships until the 1890s. See more »

Quotes

Nikolai Rogozhin: Mr. Holmes, what you have seen tonight is last, and positively final performance of Madame Petrova. She is retiring.
Holmes: What a shame.
Nikolai Rogozhin: She's been dancing since she was three years old, and after all, she is now thirty-eight.
Holmes: I must say, she doesn't *look* thirty-eight.
Nikolai Rogozhin: That is because she is forty-nine.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Opus 24
by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Grand even as an edit
21 December 2005 | by (Bloomington, Indiana) – See all my reviews

This film is sometimes described as a comedy, and while it has humorous bits (a more sardonic and biting form of humour most of the time), it has never really felt at home being classified as a comedy, in my estimation. I do like the rapid-fire wit that Holmes seems to have here (a bit more in abundance than in the canonical Conan Doyle stories), but the Holmes presented here is a bit more dark and brooding, more akin to the extra-canonical 'Seven Percent Solution' Holmes in many ways.

Wilder was an extraordinary director and genius who sometimes gets carried away with his subject (in this regard, he is sometimes compared with Stanley Kubrick). His films are often of epic-proportions, even though they are not essentially 'epic' subjects. This film is reputed to have been nearly twice as long as the final cut version, but this may be apocryphal in that much of the raw footage never made it to final print and production. The restoration available on the disc currently available is, in fact, rather minimal - a few scenes and a few extras, but not much more than the original release of the film. This is disappointing to many fans, but in fact is more than most of us have had for a long time, as the somewhat choppy film was often mercilessly cut for television broadcast.

Holmes in this case is played by Robert Stephens, an unlikely Holmes in comparison to standards such as Rathbone, Brett, or Gillette, but still an interesting choice - quintessentially British, reserved but daring, brilliant yet flawed and faltering. Colin Blakely presents a stronger Watson than often portrayed before (this film, being made in 1970, presented this as a newer idea for Watson, one that has been picked up by many subsequent productions). Wilder has the actors play at various issues of Victorian sensibility and morality, including the implication (dismissed in the end) that Holmes might have a sexual identity issue. Christopher Lee, who himself plays Holmes in other productions, plays Holmes' smarter brother Mycroft here, to good effect.

The story line does have some inspiration from the canonical stories (the Bruce-Partington Plans, for one), and from Gillette's play (the strange case of Miss Faulkner, introducing an ending that allowed for a love interest for Holmes in the end), but for the most part takes the characters from Conan Doyle and runs far afield. Still, this is must-see film for any fan of Holmes, and any fan of Wilder, who saw this as one of his last great productions.


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