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The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)

The younger brother of the consulting detective tries to steal Sherlock's glory by solving an important case assisted by an eccentric Scotland Yard detective and a lovely but suspicious actress.


Gene Wilder


Gene Wilder




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Sigerson Holmes
Madeline Kahn ... Jenny Hill
Marty Feldman ... Orville Sacker
Dom DeLuise ... Gambetti (as Dom De Luise)
Leo McKern ... Moriarty
Roy Kinnear ... Moriarty's Assistant
John Le Mesurier ... Lord Redcliff
Douglas Wilmer ... Sherlock Holmes
Thorley Walters ... Dr. Watson
George Silver George Silver ... Bruner
Nicholas Smith ... Hunkston
John Hollis ... Moriarty's Gunman
Aubrey Morris ... Coach Driver
Tommy Godfrey Tommy Godfrey ... Fred
Susan Field ... Queen Victoria


Sherlock Holmes' younger brother is annoyed that he has had to live in Sherlock's shadow for so long. When Sherlock goes to the continent, he sends a case to his brother who constantly tries with varying success, to imitate Sherlock's deductive and observational tricks. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Did You Know?


On his DVD audio commentary, Gene Wilder mentions his screenplay was inspired by three of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. He identifies "The Adventure of the Empty House" and "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty" but can't remember the third title. That third title is "The Second Stain", which centers on the theft of a secret diplomatic document. See more »


The reflections of Orville and Sigerson in the mirror after they discover they have naked backsides don't match the actors' movements. See more »


[first lines]
Royal Herald: The Foreign Secretary, Lord Redcliff!
Lord Redcliff: [rehearsing what to say under his breath] Your Majesty, being inside of your confidence is the greatest joy I've ever known. Ahem...
Queen Victoria: [handing him the document] Lord Redcliff, the fate of England is now in your hands.
Lord Redcliff: Your Confidence... being inside of Your Majesty is the greatest single joy I've ever known.
[realizing what he's said, he tosses the document away]
Lord Redcliff: Woof!
Lord Redcliff: It's alright, Your Majesty! I've got it! I've got it. All's well that ends well!
Queen Victoria: Shit.
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Gene Wilder Performances (2016) See more »


You Don't Love As I Do
Written by Hugh Wright
Performed by Madeline Kahn, Gene Wilder and Julian Orchard
See more »

User Reviews

Really disappointing
23 February 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When papers of supreme importance to the crown are stolen, Sherlock Holmes gets involved in the case. However to divert attention he gives the case to his younger brother, Sigerson Holmes while he and Watson pretend to go away for a holiday. Sigerson takes up the case with the help of Sgt Sacker of Scotland Yard and follows a trail that begins with a mysterious, deceitful music hall singer and leads all the way to his brother's nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

I do enjoy the movies of Gene Wilder, while he has been in some real dogs, I do like his sense of humour and love some of his `classics' with Mel Brooks. So the couple of times I have sat down to watch this I have always assumed that it will be better than it actually is. The plot doesn't really matter but wouldn't stand up if it was put in a serious film, the film seems to be a lot more free flowing and just tries to touch on plot points to try and keep some sort of informal structure to it. While this sort of comedy can survive with a dodgy plot, it cannot survive without good jokes and regular laughs – neither of which it has in sufficient quantities.

There are very funny bits and it all has a comic feel but I didn't laugh out loud very often and too often was sitting waiting fore the next joke for too long. The general comic tone helps make it watchable but I suspect most people would be hoping for something a lot funnier considering some of the work of the cast before (and around this time period). In fairness the cast do do a good job. Wilder is his usual self and does the self-important-fool thing sort of like he did in Young Frankenstein (if you know what I mean). Feldman is OK but not hilarious and his `photographic hearing' gag doesn't really work. Kahn is good and her songs are quite amusing (but not compared to her effort in Blazing Saddles) and the support cast have a few good faces and characters (including an eccentric Moriarty).

However, overall this just isn't funny enough to cut the mustard for me. I had hopes for a good spoof but it only occasionally reached the level where it was funny and it couldn't sustain this. It does have moments where it sends up the Holmes legend well (especially the Rathbone/Bruce film versions) but not often enough. It passed the time for me but to be honest I felt let down that the film had failed to do more with the idea.

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Release Date:

14 December 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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