Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Not-So-Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

On Sunday the Andriacco household (Ann and I) celebrated the 159th birthday of Sherlock Holmes by watching The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which I am happy to say has nothing whatever to do with the classic Vincent Starrett book of the same name.

Somehow I never before managed to watch the entire movie in the 43 years since it was released. Kieren McMullen sums it up well in his valuable book The Many Watsons: "The movie is, in a way, a little hard to get your mind around. It is not a spoof or a comedy and yet it is not completely drama."

I found it enjoyable, and yet unsettling in a way that all Holmes productions that go too far afield from the Canon are unsettling to me. Kieran notes that Robert Stephens underplays the role of Holmes in a way that makes him likeable. Indeed he is likeable, but he's not the frenetic Holmes that I know and love.

All the energy in this movie comes from Colin Blakely, who is surely the most excitable Watson that I can recall. And, as Kieren notes, he's a bit of a buffoon in the Nigel Bruce mold.

The central plot of this lavish production was actually a rather good mystery, I thought. But most of the first 20 minutes could have been cut to the film's advantage. And two major story lines of the movie were already cut to get it down to two hours.

What's your favorite Sherlock Holmes movie?

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