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The Man with the Twisted Lip (1921)

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Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Holnmes finds that the disappearance of respectable middle class Neville St. Clair may be linked to a filthy beggar living above an opium den.


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Title: The Man with the Twisted Lip (1921)

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Cast overview:
Eille Norwood ...
Hubert Willis ...
Robert Vallis ...
Paulette del Baze ...


Nellie St. Clair becomes distraught over the disappearance of Neville, her respectable, middle-class husband last seen in the second story window of a seedy waterfront dive and seeks out Holmes and Watson for help. When Holmes and the police arrive, they find a filthy beggar, not St. Clair, in the building which also serves as an opium den. The missing man's clothes are found in the room along with his son's broken toy and a bloody fingerprint on the window sill. Holmes initially suspects foul play especially after St. Clair's coat, weighted down with with copper coins, is found on a nearby riverbank. However, after the Great Detective interviews the beggar in his cell, he is able to solve the case and reunite Mrs. St. Clair with her husband. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Crime | Drama | Short





Release Date:

1 February 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme à la lèvre tordue  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(dvd release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of forty-seven Sherlock Holmes silent films made between 1920 and 1923 in Britain with Ellie Norwood as the Great Detective. Forty-five were shorts and two were features. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: [Intertitle] Now, my dear Watson, I will explain my presence in an opium den.
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User Reviews

Example of Ellie Norwood Sherlock Holmes shorts
28 January 2010 | by (Murfreesboro, TN, USA) – See all my reviews

I've been a great Sherlock Holmes fan for many years and one of the "Holy Grails" of Holmesian film and TV productions has always been the Ellie Norwood Sherlock Holmes shorts. They're referenced in all sorts of books, but it's taken me sixteen years to actually find one to watch. You can well believe, then, how excited I was to actually see one is included on the "Sherlock Holmes Archive Collection" DVD set.

I guess I'm a little curious why they included this particular installment, out of the 49 silent Holmes performances by Norwood (one feature film, 48 shorts). I know two or three of the shorts were also released on VHS, once upon a time, and "The Man with the Twisted Lip" was included there, too - perhaps, then, only a very few of them still exist. The reason I find it curious is because "Twisted Lip" is not a terribly dynamic Holmes tale: Holmes sits, he tells a story to Watson, they go and make a discovery. Both men are fairly incidental to the plot.

All that means is that Norwood's Holmes - and even more, Hubert Willis' Dr. Watson - don't get too much of a chance to shine. Most of the story is background or flashback material where they're not involved. The most notable Holmes/Watson interaction of the original short story - Watson discovering Holmes in an opium den - is severely truncated at the start of the short, with the set piece mostly relying on watching Norwood transform out of his disguise and back into Holmes in "real time." That's probably the most interesting aspect of the entire short.

That said, I found "Twisted Lip" to be a faithful interpretation of the Conan Doyle story, and for a half-hour silent film, I thought it was certainly well-paced. I definitely enjoyed the opportunity to finally witness Norwood's Holmes in action. I just wish he'd had perform in this installment of the series.

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