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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Treasures of Agra (1983)

Priklyucheniya Sherloka Kholmsa i doktora Vatsona: Sokrovishcha Agry (original title)
| Crime, Mystery | TV Movie
Holmes and Dr. Watson help a young lady who is receiving anonymous letters 10 years after her father passed away under shady circumstances. They find themselves in an enigma involving a treasure, murder and a love interest for Watson.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vasiliy Livanov ...
Vitali Solomin ...
Rina Zelyonaya ...
Borislav Brondukov ...
Yekaterina Zinchenko ...
Viktor Proskurin ...
Sergey Shakurov ...
Pavel Kadochnikov ...
Valentina Kosobutskaya ...
Mrs. Smith (as V. Kosobutskata)
N. Yurasova
V. Doroshev
Nikolay Kuzmin ...
(as N. Kuzmin)
P. Samojlenko
Anatoly Slivnikov ...
(as A. Slivnikov)
Georgiy Martirosyan ...
King of Bohemia
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Holmes and Dr. Watson help a young lady who is receiving anonymous letters 10 years after her father passed away under shady circumstances. They find themselves in an enigma involving a treasure, murder and a love interest for Watson.

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Crime | Mystery

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Treasures of Agra  »

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(2 parts)

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A treasure
1 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Treasures of Agra," an adaptation of Conan Doyle's "The Sign of the Four" (with "A Scandal in Bohemia" folded into it) comes from a series of Soviet Sherlock Holmes television films from the late 1970s and 1980s that were consistently extraordinary in quality, and this two-part entry lives entirely up to its predecessors, if not surpassing them.

As usual, the direction is original, atmospheric and stylish, the appearance of the film is gorgeous, and Vasily Livanov and Vitali Solomin breathe great depth into their consistently fascinating portrayals of Holmes and Watson. Compared with previous films in the series, "Treasures of Agra" takes advantage of an almost dreamlike quality that makes an extraordinary compliment to the kind of atmospheric realism in the series itself. The first part of the film, with its Indian intrigues has a strange, dark, and macabrely nightmarish quality to it that creates a very effective sense of unease, and the second creates a positively dreamlike haze around the apparition of Irene Adler, masterfully playing up Holmes' infatuation with "THE woman" while refraining from interpolating anything unnecessarily specific with regards to his feeling for her.

As a whole the adaptation into film-script form was key here, and achieved sublimely and subtly. The Conan Doyle stories are presented in such a way as to highlight intriguingly and touching but not intrusively the protagonists' love lives. The first scene, for instance, which could have been a straightforward exposition scene setting out the case before Holmes, becomes a little masterpiece of humor and character as Watson tries in vain to leave and allow his friend some alone time with their beautiful client, but finds himself ever more attracted to her for his own part.

This theme is drawn out just as skillfully throughout the running time, and as such the film is not just an excellent mystery story but a very subtle and quite effective character piece as well. I'd recommend this to anyone, regardless of their interest level in Sherlock Holmes or productions from Russia.


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