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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes -- British stage luminary Robert Stephens plays Holmes, as Colin Blakely plays his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson in Billy Wilder's cinematic homage to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This self-described "hitherto suppressed and thoroughly fascinating" tale entails Holmes' search for a missing mining engineer - a case that may significantly effect on England's national security. While solving the mystery, Holmes finds his first love, an enigmatic foreign beauty named Gabrielle Valladon (Genevieve Page). Wilder emphasizes current topics of the '70s such as drug addiction and homosexuality.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   7,078 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)
Billy Wilder (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 October 1970 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
The world's greatest detective tackles his toughest case ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(43 articles)
User Reviews:
Strange but enjoyable See more (80 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Stephens ... Sherlock Holmes
Colin Blakely ... Dr. Watson

Geneviève Page ... Gabrielle Valladon (as Genevieve Page)

Christopher Lee ... Mycroft Holmes

Tamara Toumanova ... Madame Petrova

Clive Revill ... Rogozhin
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Hudson
Mollie Maureen ... Queen Victoria

Stanley Holloway ... Gravedigger
Catherine Lacey ... Woman in Wheelchair
Peter Madden ... Von Tirpitz
Michael Balfour ... Cabby
James Copeland ... Guide
John Garrie ... First Carter
Godfrey James ... Second Carter
Robert Cawdron ... Hotel Manager
Alex McCrindle ... Baggageman

Frank Thornton ... Porter
Paul Hansard ... Monk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Anthony ... Lieutenant Commander (uncredited)
Graham Armitage ... Wiggins (uncredited)
Charlie Young Atom ... Submarine Crewman (uncredited)
Kenneth Benda ... Minister (uncredited)
George Benson ... Inspector Lestrade (uncredited)
Anne Blake ... Madame (uncredited)
Penny Brahms ... Girl (uncredited)
Martin Carroll ... Scientist (uncredited)
Ina De La Haye ... Petrova's Maid (uncredited)

Michael Elwyn ... Cassidy (uncredited)
Eric Francis ... Gravedigger #2 (uncredited)
John Gatrell ... Equerry (uncredited)
Ismed Hassan ... Submarine Crewman (uncredited)
Marilyn Head ... Girl (uncredited)
Sheena Hunter ... Girl (uncredited)
Annette Kerr ... Secretary (uncredited)
Teddy Kiss Atom ... Submarine Crewman (uncredited)
Wendy Lingham ... Girl (uncredited)
John Scott Martin ... Scientist (uncredited)
Anna Matisse ... Girl (uncredited)
Kynaston Reeves ... Old Man (uncredited)
Daphne Riggs ... Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
Philip Ross ... McKellar (uncredited)
Miklós Rózsa ... Orchestra Conductor (uncredited)
Willie Shearer ... Submarine Crewman (uncredited)
Judy Spooner ... Twin (uncredited)
Tina Spooner ... Twin (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
 
Writing credits
Arthur Conan Doyle (characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Billy Wilder (written by) and
I.A.L. Diamond (written by)

Produced by
I.A.L. Diamond .... associate producer
Billy Wilder .... producer
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Cinematography by
Christopher Challis (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ernest Walter 
 
Casting by
Lesley De Pettit  (as Lesley De Pettitt)
 
Production Design by
Alexandre Trauner  (as Alexander Trauner)
 
Art Direction by
Tony Inglis 
 
Set Decoration by
Harry Cordwell (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Julie Harris 
 
Makeup Department
Biddy Chrystal .... hairdresser
Ernest Gasser .... makeup artist
Roy Ashton .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Larry DeWaay .... production supervisor
Eric Rattray .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Pevsner .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Leon Davis .... construction manager
Vernon Dixon .... set dresser
Terry Parr .... set dresser
Michael Boone .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Frank Willson .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Roy Baker .... sound editor
J.W.N. Daniel .... sound recordist
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
Dudley Messenger .... sound recordist
Danny Daniel .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Graham V. Hartstone .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
John Hayward .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Charlie McFadden .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Cliff Richardson .... special effects
Wally Veevers .... special effects
Peter Hutchinson .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Freddie Cooper .... camera operator (as Frederick Cooper)
Paul Jordan .... clapper loader: second unit
John Palmer .... focus puller (uncredited)
Bob Penn .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dorothy Edwards .... wardrobe supervisor: women (uncredited)
John Hilling .... wardrobe supervisor: men (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Miller .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra .... orchestra
Miklós Rózsa .... conductor (as Miklos Rozsa)
Angela Morley .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Lucie Svehlova .... musician: solo violin, Tadlow re-recording (uncredited)
Lucie Svehlova .... orchestra leader: Tadlow re-recording (uncredited)
David Tamkin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Maurice Binder .... title designer: main title
David Blair .... ballet advisor
David Blair .... dance arranger
Henry E. Lester .... production consultant: Sir Nigel Films Ltd.
Ivo Nightingale .... location manager
Elaine Schreyeck .... continuity
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
125 min | Germany:120 min (TV version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | Ireland:16 (original rating) | New Zealand:PG | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) | USA:PG-13 (certificate #22200) | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to Billy Wilder, since because of schedule conflicts he couldn't himself supervise the bowdlerization of the picture demanded by the Studios, he entrusted the task to the editor, Ernest Walter. Nevertheless, Wilder supposedly strongly disliked the cuts made by Walter, and couldn't re-edit the movie because all the deleted scenes were lost or thrown away. Some of those scenes are available today, but never with both the audio and the video intact.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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:
Holmes:Criminals are as unpredictable as head colds. You never know when you're going to catch one.See more »
Soundtrack:
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Opus 24See more »

FAQ

Near the end of the movie when Gabrielle Valladon was taken away she sends a message to Sherlock through her parasol, what does she say?
See more »
45 out of 51 people found the following review useful.
Strange but enjoyable, 5 September 2003
Author: preppy-3 from United States

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) and Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) get involved in a very weird case involving a mysterious French woman (Geneuieve Page), Sherlock's brother Mycroft (Christopher Lee), midgets, Scotland, the Queen and the Loch Ness Monster! Believe it or not they all come together. I originally saw this on TV back in the late 70s but it was so heavily edited (for instance, the entire first half hour was gone because it dealt with gay characters which was still a taboo on TV back then) that I couldn't follow it and gave up. Now it's back on uncut and I'm glad I'm finally able to see it.

A very strange movie but lots of fun. Some people think this is a spoof. It really isn't but there are some very funny moments--my favorite is at the beginning when Holmes blasts Watson for how he writes about his cases--"Watson, I've never said 'elementary my dear Watson' in my life!""Poetic license Holmes". There's also quite a few funny one liners mostly delivered with great relish by Stephens and it does deal with the sexual relations of Holmes and Watson (it was hinted that they were gay lovers). But it does involve a very serious case and the jokes stop towards the end.

Stephens is actually very good as Holmes--he won't make you forget Basil Rathbone but he's not bad. Colin Blakely isn't as big a buffoon as Nigel Bruce was but he tends to overact a little. Page is just terrible as the mystery woman--but then again, English is her second language. Lee, surprisingly, is kind of stiff as Mycroft. He's a very good actor--I'm surprised to see him so bad.

The movie is very lavish (probably because Billy Wilder was involved)...a lot of money and attention was given to sets and costumes, and they actually went on location to shoot the end in Scotland. The cinematography is just beautiful and the movie was never dull. It doesn't always mix the comedy with the drama successfully but it works more often than it misses. As most people know this was HEAVILY edited before it was released and the uncut version doesn't seem to exist anymore. That's too bad but what remains is not bad. Worth catching...a must see for Holmes fans.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Yes, has everyone gone mad? weichikris
When Will This Air Again. kazamaru
The Road Show Version - What Might Has Been ... dknow3
Christopher Lee bald?! darthquincunx
Why are Belgians always mistaken for French? Boromir007
see it jfsredhead
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