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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sherlock Holmes
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...
Gabrielle Valladon (as Genevieve Page)
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...
...
...
Mollie Maureen ...
...
...
Woman in Wheelchair
...
Michael Balfour ...
Cabby
James Copeland ...
Guide
...
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:

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. [USA Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

29 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Íntima de Sherlock Holmes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,300,000 (USA) (31 December 1971)
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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

Rex Harrison wanted to play Sherlock Holmes, but Billy Wilder turned him down. See more »

Goofs

The initial move in on the wall of 221b Baker St. makes it obvious that the brick wall is just a printed flat surface. See more »

Quotes

Watson: [the doorbell rings] Were you expecting someone?
Holmes: Not at this time of night.
Watson: Perhaps Mrs Hudson is entertaining.
Holmes: I've never found her so.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Christopher Lee: Mr. Holmes, Mr. Wilder (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A surprisingly melancholy celebration of Conan Doyle's most famous creation
19 February 1999 | by (Oxford, England) – See all my reviews

Billy Wilder's excellent 1970 film handles the whole subject of Sherlock Holmes from a refreshingly different angle. As the title suggests, the film is rather more concerned with characterisation than plot, which although entertaining and original, is hardly an adequate stage to show off Holmes' exceptional talents.

Instead, Wilder and Diamond start with the premise that "Watson's" stories for Strand Magazine were a little more lurid than the "reality" and use it to develop a more subtle characterisation than the "thinking machine" of the literary Holmes. Admittedly, the film probably concentrates on Holmes' celebrated cocaine habit more than it should, but all references are lifted straight from the book and in any case, Stephens does not dwell on it.

Stephens himself is quite simply excellent, giving Holmes' a depth of character not seen again until Jeremy Brett on the small screen. Stephens' performance leaves us with a slightly melancholy Holmes', a man who perhaps regrets that, unlike Watson, he has dedicated his life to pure reason and while the screenplay hints at Holmes' sexuality, Stephens deflects it masterfully, remaining ambivalent and gentile where a less accomplished actor would have been simply camp, and so uses the suggestion to wrap another layer of ambiguity about the character.

All in all, Wilder and Stephens combine to make a refreshingly accessible Holmes and the entertainment comes from the interplay of characters rather than pace of plot.


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