A Sherlock Holmes story in which the detective investigates the disappearance of a missing husband who is traced to an opium-den in Wapping, where the proprietor denies knowledge of him. Holmes finds him upstairs in a pool of blood, is attacked and fights his way out. After various enquiries he solves the mystery. Originally the pilot for a proposed television series, this film ended up as a B-movie short. Written by
Originally a failed TV pilot, this production was released theatrically as a short subject. See more »
Although this is set in the late Victorian era, trucks can distinctly be seen crossing Tower Bridge in the background. See more »
London is a very big city. Every year a lot of people vanish and are never heard of again. That's none of my business because I'm a doctor. My name is John Watson. But one of these concerned me because it was a wealthy patient of mine who disappeared without a trace.
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This film of "The Man with the Twisted Lip" was originally intended as the pilot for a series of Sherlock Holmes adventures for British television, but that was not to be. This sample is done generally competently, but it is still not difficult to imagine why more were not made.
The adaptation is fairly workmanlike and adequate, but deviates from the original story in ways that seem to contribute nothing and actually defuse some of the drama. In fact, despite the fact that the story has been made to fit a twenty-five minute running time, this production still seems to drag and move rather slowly. Most of the actors deliver their lines is a fairly uniformly stiff, uninterested manner that doesn't make things very interesting.
John Longden plays Sherlock Holmes, in a time when he would have been directly in the shadow of the famous Basil Rathbone. Longden does a pretty good job with the role, contrasting to Rathbone with a kind of still force, but that stillness only seems to add to the general feel of stagnation in "The Man Who Disappeared."
That said, the production is carried off with a certain style, with plenty of attractive location scenes. It just mainly seems to have no sense or urgency or drive.
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