Charming, romantic, and melancholy, but poorly-paced; a large chunk of the film is a mystery that's significantly less interesting than the daily-life scenes around it. DVD is made from a distractingly poor quality print, but comes with about an hour of "reconstructed" deleted scenes (most audio-only or video-only) that hint at glimpses of the amazing film this could have been.
Piccolo capolavoro del Wilder “ultima fase". Dialoghi geniali, caratterizzazioni efficaci, regia capace di sfornare alcune scene magistrali (una per tutte, l’esilarante balletto russo con Watson che si ritrova a ballare prima abbracciato alle ballerine e poi con i ballerini…). E un protagonista cinico, misogino e drogato. Consigliatissimo a chi desidera passare una serata piacevole ma con intelligenza.
It's a bit strange to think of Billy Wilder still making movies in 1970, so removed is "a Billy Wilder film" from the zeitgeist of Altman and Coppola. That may be why this film is so criminally underrated, a caper with undertones of severe melancholy, insecurity, and loneliness. It's a bastardized version of what Wilder had planned, but it still proves him to be a consummate showman and master of the sweet and sour.
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
Like others have noted, this is a romantic, humane portrait of Sherlock Holmes - not so much the cold, distant genius as a witty loner with human failings. The acting is somewhat broad, I accept - but it is in line with the almost Wodehouse-ian character sketches.
The ultimate intimate Sherlock Holmes, cocaine-addicted and mistrustful of women yet close to falling in and suffering defeat. The most wonderful phrase is probably "We all have occasional failures. Fortunately, Dr. Watson never writes about mine". Plus excellent photography that can make you fall in love with Scotland. I keep dreaming that somehow a full copy of the original editing will be found somewhere.