Director Billy Wilder adds a new and intriguing twist to the personality of intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes. One thing hasn’t changed however: Holmes’ crime-solving talents. Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments. Can the sleuths make sense of all this and solve the mystery? —IMDb
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city’s largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Wilder immediately realized his Jewish ancestry would cause problems, so he emigrated to Paris, then the US. Although he spoke no English when he arrived in Hollywood, Wilder was a fast learner, and thanks to contacts such as Peter Lorre (with whom he shared an apartment), he was able to break into American films. His partnership with Charles Brackett started in 1938 and the team was responsible for writing some of Hollywood’s classic comedies, including Ninotchka (1939) and Ball of Fire (1941). The partnership expanded into a producer-director one in 1942, with Brackett producing, and the two turned out such classics… read more
Not being much of a Holmes fan, but very much a fan of Wilder, I reluctantly watched this. This has to be the very best take on Sherlock Holmes I have ever seen. Wilder makes the character human, and frail albeit stoically. The film is funny, well-paced, true to the characters but rounding them out and done with finesse of the master that Wilder was. Not a masterpiece but it is imbued with subtle brilliance.
Interesting take on the typical Sherlock Homes story, very clever and quite charming. The way Wilder plays with the relationship between Holmes and Watson is enjoyable to say the least, and had me laughing out loud on occasion. What carried the film seemed to be a rather masterful blend of humor and drama, the former breaking up the tension of the latter so as to ease any possible tedium from what is a bizarre plot.
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves.. Wonderful. Simply wonderful. In that it is full of wonder. It verges on being utterly insulting to so many minority to groups but is simultaneously so charming that it can only be flattering to those who might take offence. Not the best film I've ever seen, but the best Sherlock Holmes film, the best Billy Wilder film and indeed the best comedy I've seen in my 20 years. 5/5
The movies' gift to you this Christmas Day: Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin as well as Heath Ledger
Beautifully shot (particularly the parts in Scotland), magnificently acted (especially by the two leads, but also kudos for Ms. Page and Holmes-veteran Christopher Lee) and a pretty nifty mystery make… read review