92 user 69 critic

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

When assorted people start having inexplicable delusions that lead to their deaths, a teenage Sherlock Holmes decides to investigate.



(characters), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Rhodes ...
Bentley Bobster
Donald Eccles ...
Matthew Ryan ...
Dudley's Friend
Matthew Blakstad ...
Dudley's Friend
Jonathan Lacey ...
Dudley's Friend


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet as boys in an English Boarding school. Holmes is known for his deductive ability even as a youth, amazing his classmates with his abilities. When they discover a plot to murder a series of British business men by an Egyptian cult, they move to stop it. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before a lifetime of adventure, they lived the adventure of a lifetime. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear  »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,538,000, 8 December 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 23 mins) First feature film to have a completely CGI (computer graphics image) character: the knight coming out of the stained glass window. Industrial Light & Magic animated the scene, overseen by John Lasseter in a very early film credit for Pixar. See more »


(at around 1h 30 mins) When Watson swings the grapple to hook the axle, there is a crossbeam at the rear of the buggy that the rope swings on before hooking on the axle. When the hook catches the axle and Rathe starts to drive away, the crossbeam is missing and the rope is stretched straight behind the carriage instead of upwards, the knot holding the hook has changed shape, and the axle is smooth. When the rope catches and the carriage is ripped apart, the knot has returned to its original shape, the crossbeam is still missing, and a fitting resembling an inchworm has appeared in the middle of the axle. See more »


John Watson: I can't afford to jeopardise my medical career!
Sherlock Holmes: Weasel.
John Watson: I'm not a weasel. I am... practical.
Sherlock Holmes: Weasels *are* practical. And I imagined you courageous and stout of heart.
John Watson: I am courageous. And I'm stout of heart. It's just that... oh, all right. I'll do it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the end credits roll, there is a note that the film was an affectionate speculation on Sherlock Holmes' youth, and not based specifically on any of Arthur Conan Doyle's works: "Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not write about the very youthful years of Sherlock Holmes and did establish the initial meeting between Holmes and Dr. Watson as adults, this affectionate speculation about what might have happened has been made with respectful admiration and in tribute to the author and his enduring works." See more »

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User Reviews

Elementary Good Fun!
2 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

What if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a story where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson met as adolescents? What if he made it a very suspenseful mystery that explanied may of the great sleuth's character traits and stylistic characterisics? What if...well, he did not, but screenwriter Chris Columbus, director Barry Levinson, and producer Steven Spielberg do bring us a fine film that does these things called Young Sherlock Holmes. Young Sherlock Holmes is the meeting of fantasy film and classic literature, and it is a meeting that coexists very nicely. The great detective meets his future colleague and friend Dr. Watson in a London prep school amidst the mystery of what six men did many years ago in Egypt. Several of the men begin to die in horrible, inexplicable ways, and the young Holmes suspects mischief. The film is a veritable treasure trove of Sherlock Holmes allusions. The film is fast-paced, fun, fantastical, and creates insights into why Holmes developed emotionally the way he did. Nicholas Rowe does a superb job playing Holmes, bringing to the role intelligence as well as compassion. Alan Cox does an equally good job playing his young sidekick and doctor to be. The special effects are first-rate, yet in no way detract from the Victorian world of Doyle and Holmes and Watson. Start watching and it will not be long before you'll be saying, "The game is afoot!"

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