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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

Trailer
1:21 | Trailer
When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Arthur Conan Doyle (characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Billy Wilder | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Stephens ... Sherlock Holmes
Colin Blakely ... Dr. Watson
Geneviève Page ... Gabrielle Valladon (as Genevieve Page)
Christopher Lee ... Mycroft Holmes
Tamara Toumanova ... Madame Petrova
Clive Revill ... Rogozhin
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Hudson
Mollie Maureen Mollie Maureen ... Queen Victoria
Stanley Holloway ... Gravedigger
Catherine Lacey ... Woman in Wheelchair
Peter Madden ... Von Tirpitz
Michael Balfour ... Cabby
James Copeland James Copeland ... Guide
John Garrie ... First Carter
Godfrey James Godfrey James ... Second Carter
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Storyline

Director Billy Wilder adds a new and intriguing twist to the personality of intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes. One thing hasn't changed however: Holmes' crime-solving talents. Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments. Can the sleuths make sense of all this and solve the mystery? Written by Joel Preuninger <Jhpreunin@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone knows about the lightning-quick mind, the dazzling wit, the magnifying glass. But what about the little glass vials he so cunningly kept hidden. And what about the security blunder that almost cost the British Empire its navy. And what about the woman who spent the night with him. [USA Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Wilder began tinkering with a Holmes project as far back as 1957, when he was in London for Witness for the Prosecution (1957). He negotiated with the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to mount a Holmes musical on Broadway, starring Rex Harrison. Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, and Frederick Loewe were briefly enlisted as collaborators. Wilder then considered making a movie musical in 1963. See more »

Goofs

When Holmes, Watson and Gabrielle get off the train at Inverness, the train goes forward to another destination. The railway station at Inverness is a terminus. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: [talking about women] Take my fiancée, for instance.
Ilse von Hoffmanstal, aka Gabrielle Valladon: Your... fiancée?
Holmes: Mmmm, she was the daughter of my violin teacher. We were engaged to be married, the invitations were out, I was being fitted for a tailcoat, and 24 hours before the wedding, she died of influenza. It just proves my contention that women are unreliable and not to be trusted.
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Alternate Versions

Originally released at 125 minutes; the US laserdisc version adds 12 minutes of unreleased footage, including a sequence known as "The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners", featuring Jonathan Cecil and Nicole Shelby See more »

Connections

Featured in Christopher Lee: Mr. Holmes, Mr. Wilder (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Opus 24
by Miklós Rózsa
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User Reviews

Thoroughly civilised, delightful entertainment
30 March 2003 | by R. J.See all my reviews

Billy Wilder's take on the world's most famous detective is both painstakingly faithful and sardonically subversive to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's idiossyncratic creation. Presented as a case that loyal companion John Watson duly recorded but requested remain secret until long after his death, in which Holmes aids a Belgian woman find her missing husband, a mining engineer hired by an apparently non-existant English company, it makes clever use of the rulebook Conan Doyle set down while at the same time undermining it from within. The title and the plot may seem misleading at first - the first half hour especially seems at odds with what comes afterwards - but in fact if you're a Holmes fan you'll quickly realise that this is as close to romance as the detective would ever allow, and Wilder tells it through a masterful accumulation of small touches that only someone as meticulous as the man himself would notice. Script-wise, it's a cracking mystery in the best Doyle tradition, with all the time-honoured twists and turns present and correct. The acting is also up to Wilder's usual standards; Stephens and Blakely are an engaging duo as a bored Holmes and a bumbling Watson, and there's a hysterically funny supporting turn by the always underrated Revill as a Russian ballet impresario. Wilder's trademark pointed cynicism fits the English witticism particularly well, even if at times it all seems a bit too modern for the peaceful Victorian surroundings, but it is quite ironic to see him chiding Britain's stiff-upper-lip, old-fashioned morality when the film seems to be an "old timers' movie" entirely out of sync with its own time. Still, it's hard to find fault in such a thoroughly civilised and delightful entertainment.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Russian | French | German

Release Date:

29 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,773
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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