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Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

When assorted people start having inexplicable delusions that lead to their deaths, a teenage Sherlock Holmes decides to investigate.


Barry Levinson


Arthur Conan Doyle (characters), Chris Columbus (screenplay)
2,697 ( 1,525)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Rowe ... Sherlock Holmes
Alan Cox ... John Watson
Sophie Ward ... Elizabeth Hardy
Anthony Higgins ... Professor Rathe
Susan Fleetwood ... Mrs. Dribb
Freddie Jones ... Chester Cragwitch
Nigel Stock ... Rupert T. Waxflatter
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... Det. Sgt. Lestrade
Earl Rhodes ... Dudley
Brian Oulton ... Master Snelgrove
Patrick Newell ... Bentley Bobster
Donald Eccles ... The Reverend Duncan Nesbitt
Matthew Ryan Matthew Ryan ... Dudley's Friend
Matthew Blakstad Matthew Blakstad ... Dudley's Friend
Jonathan Lacey Jonathan Lacey ... Dudley's Friend


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet as boys in an English Boarding school. Holmes is known for his deductive ability even as a youth, amazing his classmates with his abilities. When they discover a plot to murder a series of British business men by an Egyptian cult, they move to stop it. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On his first murder case, a brilliant schoolboy is swept into a perilous adventure! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

4 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,538,000, 8 December 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The novelization mentions A Scandal in Bohemia, the first of the many Sherlock Holmes short stories (and third work overall, following the character's first two novels). See more »


Holmes "chemistry experiment" could not have caused Dudley's hair to go white if Dudley had consumed it, as implied by Holmes' claim to have dropped it in Dudley's tea. Only hair grown AFTER consuming something could be affected - the existing hair would remain its original color. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: Just have a quick look at these.
[hands Lestrade two obituaries]
Lestrade: A suicide and a carriage accident.
Sherlock Holmes: I suspect foul play.
Lestrade: Why? The two instances are completely unrelated.
Sherlock Holmes: Wrong. Both men graduated from the same university in 1809.
Lestrade: Coincidence.
Sherlock Holmes: Neither of their deaths fit their personalities. According to his obituary, Bobster was a happy man, content with his life, his career, his family. Why would he commit suicide? He didn't even leave a note. And Reverend Nesbitt is described by friends as "...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the end credits, the action follows a horsedrawn sleigh en route to an unknown destination. In last shot, the audience becomes privy to the surprise identity of the passenger, a key figure in Sherlockiana. See more »

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User Reviews

A likable fiction where Sherlock Holmes along with John Watson are involved in his first great case
28 September 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This amusing movie set in a perfect Victorian atmosphere (1870, England) speculates about what might have happened if Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) and Doctor Watson (Alex Cox) had met during their student times in London . Holmes falls in love with a beautiful youngster (Sophie Ward) , living with her uncle , a retired professor named Waxflatter (Nigel Stock) . Then , it happens several murders and Holmes helps Inspector Lestrade (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) to resolve it . Later on , young Sherlock performing feats of derring-do in London , including a spectacular flight and dangerous duels . Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not write about the youthful years of Sherlock Holmes , as he established the initial meeting between Holmes and Watson as adults . This affectionate speculation on what might have happened has been made with respect and admiration , knowing references to Sherlock's later existence and in tribute to the author in his enduring Works .

This stirring , fast-paced film is packed with noisy action , adventures , thrills , tension and results to be quite entertaining . It's a genuine ripping yarn with much suspense , intrigue and outstanding surprises . Nicholas Rowe is nice as obstinate and intelligent young Holmes as well as Alex Cox as timid and easy frightened John Watson . Some images are very creepy and eerie and developed in ¨Indiana Jones and the temple of Doom¨ style , for that reason is rated PG-13 for violence and crude scenes . Spectacular special effects by Kit West and Pixar Animation Studios making 'the glass man sequence' and puppets by David Allen . Furthermore visual effects supervisor by Dennis Muren with some of the firsts , images made by means of computer generator . As this one is considered to be the first feature film to have a completely CGI (computer graphics image) character : the knight coming out of the stained glass window . And intervention by Industrial Light & Magic (company run by George Lucas) animated the scene , overseen by John Lasseter in a very early film credit for Pixar . As the "Stained Glass Knight" took Industrial Light & Magic artists 4 months to create . Atmospheric score fitting to action by Bruce Broughton and London symphonic Orchestra . Well written by Chris Columbus and lavishly produced by Steven Spielberg with his usual collaborators , Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy . The picture was well directed by Barry Levinson . Youth and little boys are likely to enjoy this fun film.

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