Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
United Kingdom, 1970. The Mirisch Production Company, Mirisch Films, Sir Nigel Films, Phalanx Productions, The Mirisch Corporation. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Cinematography by Christopher Challis. Produced by Billy Wilder. Music by Miklos Rozsa. Production Design by Alexandre Trauner. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Ernest Walter.
Rare and unfortunate misfire from Billy Wilder. Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely are terrific as the ever-famous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, character creations of Arthur Conan Doyle who have been intoxicating readers with their sleuthing for more than a century. In this adventure, Holmes is enveloped into the mystery of a missing man after his wife (Geneviève Page) is nearly killed. The trail leads to such strange places as a Scottish castle and the appearance of the Loch Ness monster! It should be boatloads of fun, but the pace is sluggish and the film takes forever to get going, employing an overdone widescreen style that is better suited to a bloated Hollywood musical than a zippy murder mystery. Wilder originally intended the film to be an epic adventure with multiple plots, and the eventual debacle that occurred in the editing room is likely the reason why the end result is such a mess.