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Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Acquaintance 

Sherlok Kholms i doktor Vatson (original title)
Doctor Watson moves in with the eccentric Sherlock Holmes and they get a case to solve. A young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather after her sister dies under mysterious circumstances.
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1979  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Vasiliy Livanov ...  Sherlock Holmes 2 episodes, 1979
Vitali Solomin ...  Dr. Watson 2 episodes, 1979
Rina Zelyonaya ...  Mrs. Hudson 2 episodes, 1979
Mariya Solomina Mariya Solomina ...  Helen Stoner / ... 2 episodes, 1979
Gennadiy Bogachyov Gennadiy Bogachyov 2 episodes, 1979
Fyodor Odinokov 2 episodes, 1979
Catherine Schell 2 episodes, 1979
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Storyline

Doctor Watson moves in with the eccentric Sherlock Holmes and they get a case to solve. A young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather after her sister dies under mysterious circumstances.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime

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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

1979 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Acquaintance See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lenfilm Studio See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Mariya Solomina, who played Helen Stoner and her twin sister Julia in this film, is the widow of now-deceased Vitali Solomin, who played Dr. Watson in this film. See more »

Connections

Version of Detective: The Speckled Band (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good, but not the best.
22 May 2009 | by Bladerunner•See all my reviews

A lot of people make a big deal about the fact that in the Sherlock Holmes museum, Vasiliy Livanov's picture is the largest. The only thing this proves is the British found a great way to soften relations between the U.K. and the Soviets. I see it as a political maneuver, and little else.

There is no doubt that these films are of excellent quality, but they suffer from an overemphasis on the farcical. In particular, Vitali Solomin's portray of Watson borders on camp at times, with little subtlety. The relationship between Holmes and Watson, something that is near and dear to many a fan's heart, is too kitschy. Missing is the deep, abiding friendship that Jeremy Brett and David Burke (and later, Edward Hardwicke) portrayed so eloquently in the Granada productions.

The Baltic locations are clearly Eastern Europe and at times that is a bit distracting. The biggest problem is of course, the language. First of all, the subtitles have been poorly done. I have spoken to a couple of people who speak Russian and English who have bemoaned the quality of the subtitles. They assert that English-speaking audiences would appreciate the films more if they could experience them as intended rather than through the poor subtitles. Some characters are meant to be heard in their native language and Holmes is certainly one of those characters. Hearing Doyle's detective speaking Russian is very distracting as are the poorly translated subtitles. Perhaps in the future someone could redo the subtitles and the films would benefit from this.

The most interesting thing about these films are the little jokes and ironic elements that are littered throughout. Little jabs at the Soviet government and the British are present and done very slyly. In one instance, Doctor Watson is speaking to Holmes about his lack of understanding of things outside his profession, but it is clear he is speaking of the oppression of the Communist government in the Soviet Union. Watson says, "How awful it would be to live in a world, where you couldn't talk to anyone about poetry, about art, or politics." The irony is, the actors in this film — at the time this production was made — did live in a place where you couldn't talk about many things without fear of reprisals. There are quite a few of these moments and it is very interesting to listen for them. Surely the producers of these films had to be very careful not to glorify a society of the West, albeit a hundred years in the past. Perhaps it was at the behest of the Communist party that Holmes gets the following line: "The British are conservative, and we don't like changes. Anyone who is not like us in the ways of mind, is easily taken for a rogue". Great fun.

These films do deserve their place in the cinematic Holmes canon, but more for what they reveal about the Soviet Union at the time and their relations with the British. An interesting interpretation that demands viewing, but ultimately pales in comparison to the Granada productions with Jeremy Brett.


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