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Sherlock Holmes (1916)

Not Rated | | Mystery | 15 May 1916 (USA)
When a couple of swindlers hold young Alice Faulkner against her will in order to discover the whereabouts of letters which could spell scandal for the royal family, Sherlock Holmes is on the case.

Director:

Arthur Berthelet

Writers:

H.S. Sheldon (scenario), William Gillette (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Gillette ... Sherlock Holmes
Marjorie Kay Marjorie Kay ... Alice Faulkner
Ernest Maupain ... Professor Moriarty
Edward Fielding ... Dr. Watson
Mario Majeroni Mario Majeroni ... James Larrabee
Grace Reals ... Madge Larrabee
William Postance ... Sidney Prince
Stewart Robbins ... Benjamin Forman
Burford Hampden Burford Hampden ... Billy
Chester Beery Chester Beery ... Craigin
Frank Hamilton Frank Hamilton ... Tim Leary
Fred Malatesta ... 'Lightfoot' McTague
Leona Ball Leona Ball ... Thérèse
Hugh Thompson ... Sir Edward Leighton
Ludwig Kreiss Ludwig Kreiss ... Baron von Stalburg
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Storyline

When a couple of swindlers hold young Alice Faulkner against her will in order to discover the whereabouts of letters which could spell scandal for the royal family, Sherlock Holmes is on the case.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Шерлок Холмс See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Edward Arnold was allegedly spotted by a viewer as an uncredited member of Moriarty's gang, this identification is dubious. When Arnold joined Essanay in late 1915, he was already important enough to play only credited leading roles, and did so steadily there for the next year, mostly in social dramas, such as the 16-episode series "Is Marriage Sacred?" (1916); therefore, it's highly unlikely he would have condescended to play an uncredited henchman in this one, as suggested by the contributor of this information. UPDATE: After two screenings in San Francisco and the Library of Congress, numerous audience members agree that it is in fact Arnold. Perhaps he was not working at the moment and did the small role as a favor to Essanay (his scenes could easily have been shot in one or two days). See more »

Goofs

The sign outside Dr. (John) Watson's office reads G. WATSON, M.D. Either nobody noticed the art director's mistake or, more likely, they didn't want to go to the time and expense of making a new sign. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: I have a weakness for dawdling, the better to observe.
See more »

Connections

Version of Elementary (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightful Little Pre-Noir Classic
3 June 2016 | by revoltrightnowSee all my reviews

8.5 out of 10 I had the privilege of seeing this at the Castro Theater in 2015 for the public world re-release at the Silent Film Festival there. I had no idea what to expect since the film had been lost for nearly 100 years, and I have never been a huge Holmes fan (but I don't dislike the character at all). As we know, silent films can sometimes move at a snoring pace, so I kept my expectations low.

This film really surprised me with its Mystery Comics/early Noir kind of feel- splitting the film into "to be Continued...!" type of segments, since it was originally a serial. I imagine it can be enjoyed watched in 3 separate parts as well (it wasn't meant to be a 2-hour sit-down affair).

The pace is great overall, only a little sluggish at first with the introductory part of the plot (a letter scandal or sorts?) being very outdated. After the first part of that serial you will feel right at home (or Holmes!) with all the booby traps and laughs. William Gillette absolutely steals the show every time he's on screen and it is no wonder that he was adored for his portrayal of the character at the time of release.

I won't give away any of the gags or trickery, but they are top-notch and this film has Chaplin-inspired hoodwinking all over the place. If you enjoyed Chaplin's Essanay work like "Police" or his work on "The Adventurer" then this will be right up your alley.

Going deeper, this film also provides a fascinating insight into the development of the modern "Super Hero." Sherlock Holmes was in many ways the world first superhero, his intellect being the primary superpower. It's kinda neat to think of how this protagonist archetype has developed over the last 100 years! A fine gem to be preserved for future generations :)


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