|William Gillette as Holmes, in the long-lost film that is lost no longer|
It’s a mystery worthy of the Great Detective himself: More than 100 films about Sherlock Holmes are lost or in need of restoration or preservation.
The great William Gillette’s silent film of his classic stage play Sherlock Holmes was like that – lost for decades – until a print was found in Paris in 2014. Now the UCLA Film & Television Archive have teamed up with the Baker Street Irregulars to search world-wide for similar treasures.
Among the missing are a British production of A Study in Scarlet, produced in 1914; a Danish series, produced by Nordisk films, beginning in 1908; and The Missing Rembrandt, produced in 1932, starring Arthur Wontner.
The Archive and the BSI plan to contact film archives, Sherlock Holmes societies, film historians, collectors, and other potential sources around the world to find, restore, and eventually screen these and other currently lost films.
Barbara Roisman Cooper, an Archive Board and BSI member, is heading the project, which is called “Searching for Sherlock: The Game’s Afoot.” For further information about the effort or suggestions regarding the search, she asks that you contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A week ago, on this blog, I reveled in the joys of putting on a Sherlockian film festival. How I would love to be able to show The Missing Rembrandt – which is now missing itself!