Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes

I found this video on YouTube, in the area where they add commercials. It's an overview on various stage, film, and TV portrayals of Holmes, hosted by Christopher Lee. It only goes up to 1985, and does not really cover Jeremy Brett at all, but I did appreciate the glimpses into obscure Holmes movies that I haven't been able to find on video or DVD. Near the beginning they also have a short clip of Doyle talking about Joseph Bell as his inspiration for Holmes. Hearing his voice really makes him much more immediate than just seeing pictures of him.

Christopher Lee (or his writer) is wrong, though, to say that Irene Adler is the only "person" to best him. Holmes said in FIVE that he had been beaten by three men and one woman. (And some chronologists who date FIVE before SCAN argue that the woman is not Irene, whom he hasn't met yet.)

Strangely, the video is listed as lasting about an hour, yet it quits at only about 45 minutes. Does that mean it's been edited down or something? I know that parts of Christopher Lee's scenes were put on my DVDs of the Ronald Howard series, and I didn't see him reading Watson's description of Holmes's limits on the YouTube video.

I think I have a copy of "The Many Faces" in my old VHS tapes, so I'll have to check them to see if there's more.

Ah, I found it. The YouTube video has indeed cut out an early scene (near the Doyle clip) where Christopher Lee recited a modified version of Holmes's limits. This scene is viewable on my Ronald Howard DVDs.

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