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The Royal Scandal (2001)

TV Movie  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  19 October 2001 (USA)
6.5
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes - the world's greatest detective - faces a most alluring adversary... Legendary opera star Irene Adler is threatening to destroy the King of ... See full summary »

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(short story "A Scandal in Bohemia" from volume "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"),
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Title: The Royal Scandal (TV Movie 2001)

The Royal Scandal (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Brochu ...
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Meisener
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Robin Wilcock ...
Crown Prince
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PC Trevor
Jacob Richmond ...
Kathleen McAuliffe ...
Alan Legros ...
Burly #1
Kevin Ryder ...
Burly #2
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Noel Burton ...
Professor Morgan
David Francis ...
Jenkins
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Storyline

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes - the world's greatest detective - faces a most alluring adversary... Legendary opera star Irene Adler is threatening to destroy the King of Bohemia's reputation with proof of their illicit affair. The evidence? A photograph. Her ransom? The king's hand in marriage. But not only does investigating detective Sherlock Holmes already know Irene from the past, he also knows that the queen of manipulation would never resort to such a common crime. After uncovering her true ambitions, Holmes draws the cunning songstress into a well-matched game of cat and mouse. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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Temptation May Be His Greatest Adversary

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Mystery | Thriller

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Release Date:

19 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scandal in Bohemia  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Misguided Adaptation
20 October 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When Sherlock Holmes faces an old enemy in the beautiful form of Irene Adler, a woman with a keenly criminal mind, his wills become torn between sentimentality and justice. He has been commissioned by the Prince of Germany to recover a compromising photograph taken with Irene, but is soon swept into a world of political intrigue, unrest, scandal, and double intentions that could be his downfall.

Filled with dark, fog-shrouded chases through London, heart-stopping instances of horror, and momentary glimpses into the mind of Sherlock Holmes, "The Royal Scandal" was meant to be a classic among film adaptations. Sadly, it falls far short. The film begins most appropriately with a disclaimer saying that it has not been endorsed by any member of Doyle's family. This in itself was a grand giveaway that the following hour and a half of whirlwind scandal, deception, romance and imperial intrigue was not exactly what good old Doyle intended when he penned "A Scandal in Bohemia," upon which the production is very loosely based.

Given, the film is not an entire flop. It manages to follow closely the story in some areas and expand out in others. Borrowing the blueprint scam and political tensions from His Last Bow, it attempts to make for itself a winning mystery of charm and interest and could have carried itself off well were it not for the gaping holes in character development. Our first and most glaring flaw is found in Holmes himself... a distracted, romantically entangled Holmes. A Sherlock Holmes who finds himself blinded by beauty and seduction, who prides himself one moment on "being the one exception" in the male race who consistently gives in to Irene Adler's temptations; and the next finds himself compromised.

Non-literary fans of Sherlock Holmes will even notice the flaws; that Homes would ever place personal interest before one of his cases is ridiculous; and his interest in Irene is played out on more a personal nature than a willingness to corner her for the government's sake. To Sherlock Holmes, this would be the ultimate humiliation. On the other end of the tables, the political intrigue that is played out is very enthralling as Irene and Holmes play out a delightful game of cat and mouse. London is at its most mysterious and sinister. We are also introduced to characters only alluded to in the novels... namely his political brother Mycroft, and the street-wise Wiggins.

In conclusion, it is a film that wavers between being likable due to the nature of its intent and distasteful to true lovers of the Canon. If you are a died-in-the-wool Sherlockian like myself, you will find Holmes inability to control his feelings somewhat hard to swallow. But the rest of the production is just seductive enough to draw you into a world of lies, deceptions, and double agents that would please any mystery buff. Hallmark could have done better; maybe next time their writer would fare better in actually *reading* the Canon.


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