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
One of 47 Sherlock Holmes silent films made between 1920-23 in Great Britain with Eille Norwood as the famous detective--45 were shorts and two were features. See more »
Mrs. Nellie St. Clair:
[Intertitle, desribing her relationship with her husband to Holmes]
I know he still lives; the sympathy between us is so great that I even know when he cuts himself shaving.
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This short film is one of the first to feature the mighty Sherlock. No Rathbone or Brett to compare. As such, I found Mr. Norwood very believable, displaying a naturalistic acting style that works quite well on the screen. Of course all these actors were stage actors, effective in the histrionic techniques of the day; and the film is made as a series of tableaux, also very common in that day.
But what is so fascinating is that the people that went to see this movie had followed Sherlock's development all along. Very likely, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle saw this film! It's just what people saw in those days.
A LOT of fun.
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