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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

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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 »
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabrielle Valladon (as Genevieve Page)
Mollie Maureen ...
Woman in Wheelchair
Von Tirpitz
Michael Balfour ...
James Copeland ...
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 <Jhpreunin@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It took a genius to cover up Sherlock Holme's vices, blunders, and bizarre tastes. Sherlock Holmes was a genius. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

29 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Íntima de Sherlock Holmes  »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,500,000, 31 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Attenborough was considered for the part of Dr. Watson which in the end was cast with Colin Blakely. See more »


The film's prologue depicts two contemporary men opening Dr. Watson's case and handling the various contents archived inside. We see one close-up shot of a man handling a single pair of old handcuffs and putting them down on the table. A short time later, the filmmakers repeat the very same footage of the man handling the handcuffs and putting them down on the table. See more »


Holmes: You've painted me as a hopeless dope addict just because I occasionally take a five-percent solution of cocaine.
Watson: A *seven-percent* solution...
Holmes: Five percent. Don't you think I'm aware you've been diluting it behind my back?
Watson: As a doctor, as well as your friend, I strongly disapprove of this insidious habit of yours.
Holmes: My dear friend, as well as my dear doctor, I only resort to narcotics when I'm suffering from acute boredom, when there are no interesting cases to engage my mind.
See more »


References Hamlet (1948) See more »


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Opus 24
by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My brief review of the film
26 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

One of fiction literature's most fascinating pairs of characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are depicted well here in this gem from Billy Wilder, which has a biting, clever and witty script, as well as superb production values. It was intended to be a plus three hours production however, and this intention can be seen in the sort of poor structure of the film. There are only two different segments that can be easily separated, and the two do not mesh all that well together, creating a film with one quarter laugh-out-loud comedy and three quarters gripping, but not all that funny, mystery. Still, it is an enjoyable ride as always from Wilder, and when it is amusing, it is highly entertaining. The music choices are great, the acting is good and other than the final 25 minutes or so, which are rather a drag, it all come across well even with a somewhat disjointed structure.

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