Review: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Blu-ray: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) and Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) are surprised when Gabrielle (Geneviève Page) arrives on their doorstep both soaking wet and suffering from amnesia. Through a series of Holmes famous deductions, they ascertain that they need to locate Gabrielle’s husband, which leads them to Scotland and encounters with monks, dwarfs (the reasoning for inclusion is genius), the Loch Ness Monster, and Holmes’ brother Mycroft (Christopher Lee) who is involved in a secret project for the British Navy.
Holmes also has to deal with the advances of famous Russian ballerina Madame Petrova (Tamara Toumanova), who has chosen him to conceive a child with her in the hope that it will inherit her physique and his intellect. Not entirely enamoured with the prospect of travelling to Russia with Petrova for some ‘sexy time’, Holmes concocts a story in which both him and Watson are lovers. This leads to a hilarious song and dance routine involving the whole ballet cast, which culminates in Holmes and Watson being ‘outed’.
Stephens relishes the part of Holmes and embraces both the positive (the pure adrenaline rush of piecing together parts of a disparate puzzle) and negative (his addiction to narcotics) aspects of his personality. You can’t help but smile and cheer him on whenever he is onscreen.
Blakely is a fantastic Dr. Watson; the unknown driving force behind his friend and partner, whose energetic frustration sometimes gets the better of him.
There is never a dull moment throughout the story, and it is filled with laughter, chills, pathos, and ends on a bittersweet note that has you wanting more.
Of the many versions of Sherlock Holmes which have appeared on both film and television (Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the creators and writers of the Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed series Sherlock, credited The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes as a source of inspiration for their show), this stands as one of the ‘must watch’ within the ‘Holmes universe’.
A first time release on Blu-ray here in the UK, the movie and informative special features make this another ‘must buy’ from Eureka Entertainment in their ‘Masters of Cinema’ releases.
- Glorious 1080p presentation
- Uncompressed PCM soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- A new video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard
- The Missing Cases (50 mins) – a presentation of the films deleted sequences, using script excerpts, production stills and surviving film footage.
- Deleted Epilogue Scene (audio only)
- Christopher Lee: Mr. Holmes, Mr. Wilder – an archival interview with Christopher Lee about working with Billy Wilder
- Interview with editor Ernest Walter
- Original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A collectors booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp; the words of Billy Wilder; and rare archival imagery
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is released on 29th January 2018 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Eureka Entertainment.