Sherlock Holmes marathon on TCM Christmas night, and Sat. 12/26
#1
Presumably as a tie-in with the new Robert Downey Jr. movie.

And before anyone gets on the old "oh, why don't they stick with the original?" soapbox... virtually none of Doyle's stories would work as stand-alone movies. Hound of the Baskervilles sort of does... but it's a very atypical Holmes story, that basically features 70 minutes of Victorian banter and plot exposition that would put the teenage audience of today asleep, and 5 minutes of horror... that turns out to be a Scooby Doo sort of non-supernatural anti-climax. And none of the many versions of Hound have ever been anything beyond modest B-movie successes. The only time that anyone has treally tried to do the Holmes stories faithfully is the PBS series... where the under-60 minute episode format works better for short stories....plus the BBC and PBS are government-funded, meaning it doesn't matter if anyone watches or not. :laugh: But even they try to spiff up the one-note, one-teeny-gimmick stories.

The swashbuckling Holmes that we think of, fencing w/ bad guys, thwarting Moriarty, romancing Irene Adler, wearing a deerstalker cap and an Inverness cape is mainly the creation of William Gillete for his stage version of Holmes, which then influenced the artists and later stage and film versions.

At any rate, Turner Classic Movies is running a ton of Holmes movies on 12/25, beginning with Rathbone and Bruce in the 1939 Hound of the Baskervilles (with Lionel Atwill and John Carradine) at 8 PM, and at 9:30 PM, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, also with Rathbone, Bruce, George Zucco and Ida Lupino, and sort of based on Gillette's play.

At 11 PM there is The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a somewhat funny, dashing Billy Wilder version from 1970 with renowned stage actor Sir Robert Stephens (at the time married to Maggie Smith) and Colin Blakely; look for Christopher Lee as Holmes' brother.

At 1:15 is Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour from 1931, one of a popular British series with Arthur Wontner and Ian Fleming (no relation.)

At 2:45 is the Hammer version of "Hound" from 1959, with Cushing as Holmes, Andre Morell as Watson, and Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville (technically the juvenile romantic lead, if you can believe it! :jester: )

At 4:15 AM is the first of many "Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper" stories, 1965's A Study in terror with another "serious" actor, John Neville, as Holmes, Donald Houston as Watson, and a supporting cast full of people like Robert Morley, Friank Finlay, Anthony Quayle, and a saucy young Judi Dench.

And then a whole slew of ultra-low budget Universal C-movies with Rathbone and Bruce from the 40's, with Holmes in modern England fighting Nazis. Descriptions from the IMDB:

6 AM - Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror: Underworld types help Holmes and Dr. Watson rout Nazis in London's dock district.
7:15 AM - Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon: An Englishman sneaks a bombsight inventor out of Zurich, then loses him to Nazi agent Moriarty.
8:30 AM - Sherlock Holmes in Washington: Holmes and Watson follow a popular matchbook full of microfilm sought by Nazi spies.
9:45 AM - Sherlock Holmes Faces Death: Watson brings in Holmes on a case of ritual murder at the old Musgrave estate.
11:00 AM - Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman: Holmes poses as a foreigner to bait the woman behind so-called pajama suicides.
12:15 PM - Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve village murders blamed on a monster in Canada.
1:30 PM - Sherlock Holmes and the Pearl of Death: Holmes and Watson seek a large hidden pearl.
2:45 PM - Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go to Scotland to check on mortality at a heavily insured club.
4:00 PM - Sherlock Holmes in Pursuit to Algiers: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson protect a foreign prince from shipboard assassins.
5:15 PM - Sherlock Holmes in Terror by Night: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson guard the Star of Rhodesia diamond on a London-to-Edinburgh train.
6:30 PM - Sherlock Holmes in Dressed to Kill: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson seek three music boxes which conceal Bank of England money plates.

Totally unrelated: back on the 25th at 6 PM, before all these, is a funny, adorable 1954 movie called Susan Slept Here, with Debbie Reynolds as a sexy nymphet.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#2
Oh, wow. I'd love to catch a bunch of those, but I'm guessing I'll have other plans made for me. Sad

For what it's worth, I love the Hammer version of "Hound," but that should come as no surprise.

Quote:Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve village murders blamed on a monster in Canada.

Sounds like a winner! :laugh:
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#3
Those Universal films were done for about $1.99 each, with even outdoor scenes filmed on soundstages (they just pumped in lots of fog) but do feature plenty of the Universal stock company, like Evelyn Ankers, Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, Henry Daniell, and Gale Sondergaard. There are some neat pro-England speeches though. Rathbone was a WW1 vet, and too old for military service, but he and transplants like Bruce and Boris Kaloff were very active in supporting England from Hollywood even before the US got involved in the war. At one point Holmes recites the "this rock, this realm, this England" speech from... Henry V, I guess?

Note that the "monster" in Scarlet Claw is just a Hound of the Baskervilles/Scooby Doo sort of monster, i.e. some local villager ends up saying "Yeah, I'd have gotten away with it too...."

Some details on the series here.

Quote:For what it's worth, I love the Hammer version of "Hound," but that should come as no surprise.

Ever see the William Shatner version?

Seriously!

He plays Stapleton though.....
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#4
august Wrote:Ever see the William Shatner version?

Seriously!

He plays Stapleton though.....

No! I've got to find that now! :bg:

Quote:The only time that anyone has treally tried to do the Holmes stories faithfully is the PBS series...
Is that the one with Jeremy Brett? I really liked that series, extremely well done.
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#5
Thanks for telling us. I love the movie where Christopher Lee is the lord of baskerville.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#6
Anyone notice the Harry Potter connection in all those Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movies?
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#7
Michael Wrote:Anyone notice the Harry Potter connection in all those Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movies?

No. The talented hero and his sidekick aspect? The bad guy aspect?

One of my favorites with Basil and Nigel is Terror by Night. The one that takes place on the train with the Star of Rhodesia. I am confused every time how Holmes accomplishes so much in the dark in general mayhem.

I am very fond of the Rathbone, Bruce movies. But Jeremy Brett's films are my favorites. They seem more true to the books.
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#8
"Sherlock Holmes and the .... " titles sound very Potterish (or perhaps the Potter titles sound very Holmesiesh).

Of course, those titles are really the titles of movies which were just extending the Sherlock Holmes franchise. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had nothing to do with most of those films, so far as I can recall.
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#9
Yep, Doyle died long before any of those were made. There were some silents made in his lifetime, but most of those were just filmed adaptations of the Gillette stage play, which he again had nothing to do with.

Of course, the (insert name of hero) and (insert name of adventure) isn't exactly new...Daniel in the Lions' Den, Moses in the Bullrushes, Jason and the Argonauts, Sir Gawaian and the Green Knight, even Tarzan and the Ant Men all come to mind.... Wink

Doyle's short stories were usually collected and published in book for with Holmes' name, but I think those were just random selections by the publisher - things like "Casebook of Sherlock Holmes," "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes," etc.

I actually managed to catch both of the Fox films, and parts of 4 of the Universal films, and had forgotten how creaky "Adventures" is... and how good things like "Terror By Night' and "Dressed To Kill" were.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#10
BTW there is a much MUCH bigger Potter/Holmes connection, although not the one Michael was thinking of. Chris Columbus, producer of the first 4 Potter films and director of the first two (and due to the nature of the huge recurring cast and set pieces like Hoggwarts itself, a huge influence on all the later films) wrote a film back in the mid-80's about a pair of slightly misfit boys at a strict British boarding school (one with bangs and glasses) who encounter occult menaces sent from an evil teacher.....called Young Sherlock Holmes! When J.K. Rolwing would have seen ads for it in the UK, she would have been an impressionable lass of 20, and there it was billed as "Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear!"

How much she was influenced, or if she ever saw it, we may never know. Wink

Coincidentally, Sat. night after the Holmes marathon, PBS ran one of the Jeremy Brett tv adaptations, "Abbey Grange." So I watched to compare. Basically, any regular American TV show would have done Doyle's plot in 15 minutes tops. Basically, there's a murder, Holmes questions the victim's wife, examines the evidence, sees some inconsistencies, tracks down the actual answer via a train trip and a quick visit... and deduces who the murderer was, and what his motive was. Ta Da. The End. :laugh: By long slow panning shots of the streets of London and the British countryside, lingering close-ups of the beautiful widow, Shatner-like dramatic pauses in between each line, and meticulous and detailed re-enactments of the murderer's confession via flashback, they stretch it out to the 45 minutes of so that British tv requires.

Which is why a movie can't be faithful to Doyle's stories. :bg:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#11
august Wrote:I actually managed to catch both of the Fox films, and parts of 4 of the Universal films, and had forgotten how creaky "Adventures" is... and how good things like "Terror By Night' and "Dressed To Kill" were.

I didn't get to see any of them. Thanks to family in town for the holidays and whatnot, there wasn't a chance for me to lock myself away at home in front of the tv. :dead:
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