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 goes to 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
historically interesting example of UK silent Sherlock Holmes shorts
Evidently, more than 40 two-reel silent Sherlock Holmes films were made between 1920-23 in the UK by "Stoll Picture Productions" and starring stage actor Eille Norwood as Sherlock Holmes. I own three of them and this adaptation of THE MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP is a good example of these short films. Dr. Watson is summoned to an opium den in a seedy London neighborhood to find a man who was reported lost. While there, he meets Sherlock Holmes in disguise, who reveals himself, takes the Doctor back to Baker Street, and explains the case to him. The man's wife, who initially summoned Dr. Watson, also appears. Basically, the short takes sequences from the story and strings them together as part of the tale told by Holmes through inter-titles. The seedy atmosphere is convincing, and suspense is created well when the wife sees her husband in the opium den window and when the "man with the twisted lip" is confronted at different times. It's also interesting to see how the Baker Street flat is depicted and to see the relationship between Holmes and Watson. As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I found this silent short quite interesting. I saw a rumor on the internet that these shorts are being restored by a company owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber (!!!). I'm not sure how many survive, but I for one would enjoy seeing all the surviving short films from this series. These Holmes films starring Eille Norwood were quite popular in England and in the USA, and they are a fascinating curio.
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