When Mr. Rucastle finds out that his daughter Alice is engaged to be married, he becomes furious because he knows that control of the family fortune will shift to her under the provisions of his late wife's will. He orders the fiancé out, and when Alice refuses to sign away control of the estate, he locks her in a shed. He intercepts a note from the fiancé arranging a rendezvous near the copper beech trees on the estate. Rucastle hires Violet Hunter as governess to his six year old son. Violet resembles Alice enough that he hopes to convince the fiancé that she is still in the manor house. After he cuts Violet's hair, the suspicious governess enlists Holmes' aid. The great detective uncovers the plot, frees Alice, and has the scheming Rucastle arrested. Written by
Of course we have to keep in mind that this short was made in 1912, more than 100 years ago - but even for THIS stage, the technical level is horribly low: the cuts are kept at a minimum, and intertitles, which had become a standard movie feature for almost a decade then, are thrown in only every 5 or 6 minutes, thus leaving the actors to do almost a kind of pantomime; and a terribly melodramatic one, too, for that matter.
The subject of the 'adventure' is more than old-fashioned as well: a father disapproves of her daughter's choice of future husband, locks her up in the shed (!), and forces a young governess he 'hires' for his younger kid and who resembles his daughter to lure the boyfriend into a deadly trap (!!). But the governess fortunately remembers famous Sherlock Holmes and comes to him for help...
Although (or maybe because?) the film was shot under the personal supervision of Conan Doyle himself, it can really be seen today only as a kind of time document from the days shortly after the end of the Victorian era...
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