When a woman receives a series of valuable pearls from an unknown party after the disappearance of her father, Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.



(novel), (dramatisation) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Bell ...
Paul Daneman ...
Ailsa Grahame ...
Howard Goorney ...
Grace Arnold ...
Ahmed Khalil ...
Lal Rao (as Ahmed Kahlil)
Syd Conabere ...
McMurdo (as Sydney Conabere)
Tony McLaren ...
Annabella Johnston ...
David Boliver ...
Mr. Mordecai Smith (as David S. Boliver)
Ann Way ...
Zena Keller ...


When she receives pearls beyond price and a mysterious message from an anonymous source, Miss Mary Morstan goes to the famous consulting detective of 221B Baker St., Mr. Sherlock Holmes for advice in how to answer the message. Together with his staunch comrade, Dr. John Watson, and a mutt named Toby, Holmes tracks down the secret of the Sign of Four. Written by Kathy Li

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Horror | Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

16 December 1968 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sherlock Holmes: Don't tell me too much, Watson. Women are never to be trusted... even the best of them.
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Version of The Sign of Four (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

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25 October 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The TV series with Jeremy Brett and his two Watsons, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke, Sir Cedric Hardwicke's son, represent the best that we can expect from transpositions of the canon. Brett could have been taller, maybe, and a little less tic-y, but he embodies the role. The Watsons were equally good, not a bit of the buffoonery carried over from Nigel Bruce. The Baker Street set was built from scratch and looks stunningly accurate to its period, from the opening freeze frame of the kids bothering the vendor and being shooed off by the bobby, onward. The modern urban landscape that showed at the end of Baker Street had to be blocked by greenery.

This is a two-part episode, and is one of the best. It was shot on location in Manchester, Liverpool, Yorkshire, Malta, and London, and the final chase on the Thames was recreated on the River Yare in Norfolk. John Thaw, aka Inspector Morse, is barely recognizable under that beard. (The makeup in this series was uniformly excellent.) Tonga, the Andaman Islander, gets a bad rap from Conan-Doyle, as does the rest of his tribe. They were shorter than Europeans, as most non-Europeans are (or were), but they weren't dwarfs. The personality traits they're supposed to demonstrate were convenient to the story. The islands themselves were a small group off the east coast of India and were the antipodes as far as Victorian England was concerned. They were later studied by the famous anthropologist Radcliffe-Brown. But that doesn't matter. I'd read the novella a number of times but could never bring myself to visualize too clearly what those two launches looked like. Now I know.

Poor Jeremy Brett had a difficult time during this series: a mental breakdown, the loss of a loved one, and congestive heart failure, from which he later died. Recently, John Thaw too passed on.

I doubt that we'll see another series, or even another production, that will have brought to it the care and affection that this one had. This film isn't perfect, nothing is, but it's about as good as you can expect to see.

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