A wonderful, cruelly underrated film. Although there are some terrifically funny moments, and on one level the Wilder/Diamond conception of Conan Doyle's hero does tend to debunk the myth of the perfect sleuth (there are allusions to his misogyny and cocaine addiction), this alternative vision of Holmes sets up a stylish and totally appropriate story (concerning dwarfs, dead canaries, and the Loch Ness monster) as a context in which to explain the reason for Holmes' forsaking of his emotional life to become a thinking machine. Betrayal and lost love are the elements that catalyse this process, turning Holmes from a fallible romantic into a disillusioned cynic. With a stunning score by Miklós Rozsa, carefully modulated performances, lush location photography, and perfect sets by Trauner, it is Wilder's least embittered film and by far his most moving.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Billy Wilder, IAL Diamond|