Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson try to track down the Great Mogul, the second-largest diamond in the world.

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(novel) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David Healy ...
Thorley Walters ...
...
Joe Melia ...
Terence Rigby ...
Inspector Layton
Clive Merrison ...
Richard Heffer ...
John Pedrick ...
...
Robert Russell ...
Williams
...
Moti Makan ...
Kate Binchy ...
Maid
...
Mr. Sherman
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson try to track down the Great Mogul, the second-largest diamond in the world.

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Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

7 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A brief establishing shot of Baker Street, with a street-cleaning cart passing by, is actually a piece of footage from "The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes" (1970). See more »

Goofs

Holmes is chasing Jonathan Small down the Thames. He passes under Tower Bridge towards the sea but in a subsequent shot he is seen passing the Royal Naval College at Greenwich traveling away from the sea as the college is on the south bank of the Thames. See more »

Connections

Version of The Sign of Four (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

The game's afoot
25 October 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There have been many adaptations of The Sign of Four as one of Doyle's most highly respected works. No adaptation follows implicitly, but this film does well at blending notable passages and dialogue from the book in with adventurous romps through London, and even to a carnival where death seems the main feature. Unlike other adaptations, rather than attempting to solve the case ourselves, we watch the villain at work and follow along as Holmes attempts to piece together the sparse clues.

Although the film takes great liberties in making the storyline unique and exciting, it still manages to convey the very heart of what Doyle intended. Richardson is an excellent Holmes; he portrays him with just the right amount of light humor and intelligence to make him enthralling even while in the background. He also does an excellent job of reacting. When Mary clings to him after a particularly jarring series of events, the uncomfortable Holmes untangles himself and insists on not making a fuss. One scene I happen to particularly like is when Inspector Layton is brought in to the crime scene. Watching him brush off Holmes' suggestions, while our favorite sleuth is attempting not to laugh or groan at his absurdities, is nothing less than humorous. I also appreciated finally witnessing the scene left out in many adaptations... the thrilling chase of the Aurora on the Thames.

Like many others, I find Ian Richardson the definitive Holmes, and mourn that not more films were made with him as the gallant and often eccentric private detective.


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