On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during WW2, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency NATO frequency and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.
This is a straight version of the old fairy tale, with John Carradine as the Emperor. It was filmed in South Florida, with exteriors in Coral Gables and Miami's Vizcaya. The hero bests the ... See full summary »
Sir John Gielgud, who plays the Prime Minister in the film, also played Sherlock Holmes on radio making the scene in essence a meeting of two Sherlock Holmes'. His Watson was Sir Ralph Richardson. See more »
When Holmes visits the Lees disguised as a chimney sweep, he removes his false mustache and false blackened nose, but when we see him seconds later, the nose is false again as if he never peeled it off. See more »
When people are frightened, they turn to God, and when they have no help from him, they look to the Devil.
See more »
In 1888 London, Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and Dr. Watson (James Mason) are asked by a citizen's group to find and stop Jack the Ripper. For some reason the police don't want Holmes to investigate. However he does and as the bodies pile up Holmes and Watson slowly uncover a trail that might lead to the highest reach of British government.
This was released and died VERY quickly in 1979. I'm probably one of the few people who saw it in a theatre. The critics almost unanimously praised it, it had a huge cast of good actors...but it just died. That's too bad because this is a very good Sherlock Holmes film.
It's atmospheric (LOTS of foggy streets), has exquisite production design and is beautifully directed by Bob Clark (I love the way the first murder is done--very effective). Also the acting is great. Plummer gives a very good, different interpretation of Holmes--he makes him more emotional than other actors have...but it works. Mason nicely underplays the role of Watson--he does not make him a bumbling fool like Nigel Bruce did back in the 1940s. In small roles Susan Clark, John Gielgud and especially Genevieve Bujold are excellent. Donald Sutherland, Anthony Quayle and David Hemmings unfortunately are not that good.
There are some problems with this movie though. It's too long (a long sequence involving Watson and some prostitutes could have been completely cut) and is needlessly convoluted. Also they throw politics in the plot which seems out of place. And, strangely, Holmes' deductive reasoning is almost never used. He comes across more as a protector of the people than a detective. Plummer's performance though carries it through. It's quite bloody too--not enough for an R rating but pretty strong for the PG it got back then (PG-13 wasn't a rating yet).
Reservations aside though, I think this is one of the best Holmes' film ever made. Recommended.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?