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The CBn Sherlockians


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#1 zencat

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 06:17 PM

Hey, I don't see this as completely OT. Like Bond, Sherlock Holmes is an icon of Britain and British literature who (whom?) has been represented in film each decade by a dominate actor who WAS Sherlock Holmes for that generation. So the question is, who IS Sherlock Holmes?

William Gillette - 1900s (Sherlock Holmes/stage)
Ellie Norwood - 1920s (Film series)
Clive Brook - 1930 (Film series)
Arthur Wonter - 1930s (Film series)
Basil Rathbone - 1940s (Film series/radio/stage)
Peter Cushing - 1950/60s (Hound of the Baskervilles/TV series)
John Neville - 1960s (A Study in Terror/stage)
Robert Stephens - 1970s (The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes)
Nicole Williamson - 1970s (The Seven Per-Cent Solution)
Roger Moore - 1970s (Sherlock Holmes in New York)
Christopher Plummer - 1970s (Murder By Decree)
Tom Baker - 1980s (TV movie/stage)
Jeremy Brett - 1980s/90s (TV series/stage)
Christopher Lee - 1990s (TV movies)
Rupert Everett - 2000s (Sherlock Homes & the Deadly Necklace)

#2 Mister Asterix

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 07:26 PM

Brett beats Rathbone by a nose. Rog was great as Holmes, but it wasn’t really ‘his’ role like Bond was.

The next question is who is the best Dr. Watson? And, of course, that would be Ian Fleming. :)


#3 zencat

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 07:33 PM

Ha! You know you're Holmes, Mr. A. Although when I finally saw a Wonter/Fleming Holmes movie, I wasn't blown away by either man (when you read the books about the Holmes movies, you're led to believe that Wonter was the greatest of them all.)

Brett is my favorite by far. Rathbone is, actually, pretty far down my list. I prefer Robert Stephens and Peter Cushing and even Nicol Williamson before Rathbone. I like my Holmes nice and neurotic!

#4 Mister Asterix

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 09:36 PM

Actually, I’ve seen a couple of the Wonter/Fleming films and wasn’t impressed either, but Fleming gets many points for his name alone. :)

Rathbone is pretty far from how I actually picture Holmes, but because he was the one I grew up on I have always had a soft spot for his portrayal. I certainly wouldn’t want to see anyone else play Holmes that way.

Some of the Holmes portrayals I’ve enjoyed that you didn’t include were Christopher Lee (The two 90s films I haven’t seen the 60s one), Nicholas Rowe in Young Sherlock Holmes (his brilliant Holmes kept that movie from being The Goonies II), and for the offbeat I loved Michael Caine in Without A Clue.


#5 zencat

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 11:02 PM

I've never seen those Christopher Lee films from the '90s, and that '60 film was, I believe, a German film?

#6 stromberg

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:23 PM

Best Sherlock? Of course it's Jeremy Brett. This is how I picture Holmes when reading the books, not only in Brett's portrayal but also the whole make of the sries is fantastic. Have to check out if it's availble on DVD

From the ones mentioned that I have seen, I also like Cushing best. Rathbone was great, but I like him more when he plays the bad guy (especially in the Erroll Flynn movies). Rog as Holmes? DIdn't like it.

According to the cast, that 60's Lee movie was indeed a German movie. Could also be that it's one of those Italian-French-Spanish-German co-productions like we had tons of in the 60's. The producer Arthur "Atze" Brauner did a lot of those. Must have been years since I last saw it, don't remember what Lee's performance was like.

#7 zencat

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:30 PM

I just discovered that the Lee movie is out on DVD! It's called "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace" and it

#8 Jim

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 11:44 AM

Clive Merrison, then Jeremy Brett I guess.

#9 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 12:18 PM

Didn't Malcolm McDowell play him in The Seven Percent Solution?

And don't forget Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) in the Hallmark series.

Sorry, but I'm not too familar with who's the better of any of them. If Sherlock is on TV I'll watch it no matter the period it was made in, or who's playing him. Hopefully I enjoy it, which I usually do.


#10 marktmurphy

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 01:27 PM

Yeah, where is Clive Merrison? Isn't he the only Sherlock to have done all of Doyle's stories, or something? And I've just been recommended a Christopher Plummer. My fave's Robert Stephens, but that's probably because I find Holmes a bit hard to engage as he's written.

#11 zencat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:04 PM

Clive Merrison? I've never heard of Clive Merrison. I don't think these have made it to America yet. I'm intrigued.

#12 zencat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:05 PM

Originally posted by Blofeld's Cat
Didn't Malcolm McDowell play him in The Seven Percent Solution?

No, that was Nicole Williamson...but I think McDowell did play Holmes at some point, but I'm not sure in what?

#13 homerjbond

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:24 PM

I believe Patrick Macnee was Dr. Watson to Moore's Holmes in "Sherlock Holmes in New York"...nine years before AVTAK!

#14 zencat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:26 PM

Yes, that's right, he was!

#15 marktmurphy

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:26 PM

Clive Merrison played Holmes from 1990 on BBC Radio. I think he did them all : http://freespace.vir...les/sh-home.htm

#16 Fawn

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:27 PM

Long live Jeremy Brett! Holmes isn't Holmes without a touch of neurotic mania... who else thinks Brosnan could play a mean Holmes? I mean, basically you take Remington Steele and tone him down a bit, and make him Victorian, less whimsical. Same slightly crazy artistic twitch that screams, "I AM A DETECTIVE!" Some people say that Sherlock Holmes isn't supposed to be attractive. Yeah, well, bite me. Jeremy Brett is hot. :) :)

#17 marktmurphy

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:32 PM

Originally posted by marktmurphy
Clive Merrison played Holmes from 1990 on BBC Radio. I think he did them all : http://freespace.vir...les/sh-home.htm


Sorry- 1988- 2002. And Judi Dench played Mrs Hudson.

#18 zencat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 04:38 PM

Originally posted by Fawn
Long live Jeremy Brett!  Holmes isn't Holmes without a touch of neurotic mania... ... Some people say that Sherlock Holmes isn't supposed to be attractive.  Yeah, well, bite me.  Jeremy Brett is hot.  :)  :)

Tell it, Fawn!

#19 Jim

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 05:13 PM

Originally posted by zencat
Clive Merrison? I've never heard of Clive Merrison. I don't think these have made it to America yet. I'm intrigued.


Genuinely surprised by that; they're really worth hunting down

Probably available to download from somewhere but I did it the old fashioned way- BBC Radio collection audio cassettes - there is a box set of them, I'm sure. Probably some on CD. They'll definitely be on Amazon somewhere.

I remain of the view that to do a similar thing for the Bond books would be tremendous. Have a listen to them - see what you think.

#20 marktmurphy

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 05:17 PM

There's some tiny clips here: http://freespace.vir...ules/sounds.htm
but I don't think they'll give you a very good idea of it. Presumably no one has played Holmes more than Merrison- every Doyle story plus a few not even written by Doyle.

#21 clinkeroo

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 05:35 PM

I know that there is a great tendency for people to vote for the actors/songs/movies from their own eras (just look at the MTV/VH1 "greatest" shows), but for me there is no one that touches Brett. He was a Sherlockian scholar who brought great depth and edginess to the character. I haven't seen the work of Gillette or Norwood, but Brett's faithfulness to ACD's source material was beyond admirable. Even when they became a little experimental with some of the weaker stories in the canon, Brett's characterization was still dead on. Damn shame he died so young, but what a great legacy.

#22 Fawn

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 06:12 PM

Preach it Clink...Brett fans unite! :)

#23 stromberg

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 06:35 PM

Definitely time to post this one here. Hope there's no copyright problem with it.
Found it yesterday in a book about design and mailed it to zencat. But I think I should share it with all of you. If anyone sees it anywhere for sale at a reasonable price, just send me a PM.
Brett rules.

#24 Loomis

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 07:06 PM

Originally posted by Fawn

who else thinks Brosnan could play a mean Holmes?  I mean, basically you take Remington Steele and tone him down a bit, and make him Victorian, less whimsical.  Same slightly crazy artistic twitch that screams, "I AM A DETECTIVE!"  Some people say that Sherlock Holmes isn't supposed to be attractive.  


Good grief, Brosnan as Holmes? Isn't it enough for him to ruin just one hero of English literature? I can picture Timothy Dalton playing Holmes very well, though.

#25 Fawn

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 07:55 PM

Awright, fine, Brosnan-bashers, hit me with your best shot! I can take it! *sob* *choke* *bursts into tears, hiding in corner*

Meh, so maybe I'm a little emotionally attached to him, sue me. Dalton as Holmes? God no. Save me.

Okay, any Brosnan fans that think he'd make a good Holmes? I know the bashers want him to retire from Hollywood in shame, that's not what I was asking...

#26 Loomis

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 09:15 PM

Originally posted by Fawn

Awright, fine, Brosnan-bashers, hit me with your best shot!  I can take it!  *sob*  *choke*  *bursts into tears, hiding in corner*

Okay, any Brosnan fans that think he'd make a good Holmes?  I know the bashers want him to retire from Hollywood in shame, that's not what I was asking...  


Heh heh, I knew a Brosnan fan would rise to the bait.:)

I don't know that I'd want him to retire from Hollywood, though. After all, he's very good in flicks like THE LAWNMOWER MAN, and there always seemed to be plenty of TV work for him.:)

Nah, I'm only kidding. I like Brosnan's Bond well enough.:)

#27 Fawn

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Posted 29 May 2003 - 03:52 AM

Oh, all right then...I suppose I can let you live.

*snarls menacingly*

Eesh...are my fangs showing? Sorry, we Bros fangirls are a little overprotective of our man's reputation.

#28 Loomis

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Posted 29 May 2003 - 10:46 AM

Originally posted by Fawn

Sorry, we Bros fangirls are a little overprotective of our man's reputation.  


I'd noticed.

#29 DLibrasnow

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Posted 29 May 2003 - 12:05 PM

Brett may be closer to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary character but I love the Basil Rathbone movies.
I grew up watching the Rathbone movies on BBC 2 so they have a nostalgic value for me.
The fact that there are more Rathbone Sherlock Holmes DVDs available in Europe than here was just one more reason I decided to pick up a multi-region DVD player.

#30 clinkeroo

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Posted 30 May 2003 - 06:32 AM

Originally posted by DLibrasnow
Brett may be closer to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary character but I love the Basil Rathbone movies.  
I grew up watching the Rathbone movies on BBC 2 so they have a nostalgic value for me.  
The fact that there are more Rathbone Sherlock Holmes DVDs available in Europe than here was just one more reason I decided to pick up a multi-region DVD player.


You know what I have that are great. When I was a kid, before there were such things as commercial VCR's (did I just admit to that?) I purchased all of the Rathbone movies on album. It is amazing how well they translate through just the audio; it's like listening to the old radio serials. Rathbone always reminds me of my childhood. Great stuff.




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