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From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: IT’S ELEMENTARY: SHERLOCK HOLMES ON THE SCREEN



April 18th at 

ImaginOn Library's Wells Fargo Playhouse 

300 East 7th Street

Charlotte, N.C.   28202

Show-Time at 2:00 pm (free admission)

Directed by Anthony Harvey

Starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward

Color; 86 minutes; Rated PG

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS may not strictly be a "Sherlock Holmes" film, but George C. Scott is so commanding (and convincing) as a patient in a psychiatric ward who believes he's Sherlock Holmes, that it's really difficult to quibble.  Placed under the care of Dr. Mildred Watson (get it?), patient and doctor decide to flee the hospital in search of Holmes' elusive quarry Professor Moriarty.  But once they hit the hustle-bustle streets of Manhattan, things begin to get really strange. Delightful, mysterious, and unique, THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS is an unheralded, under-seen gem waiting to be discovered.  And look for F. Murray Abraham in his first movie appearance!

And don't forget to mark your calendar for these other exciting films in the series "IT'S ELEMENTARY: SHERLOCK HOLMES ON THE

SCREEN"! (All films in this current series will screen at ImaginOn, Saturday afternoons at 2:00.)

May 23:


Directed by Herbert Ross

Starring Nicol Williamson, Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Laurence Olivier

Color; 113 minutes; Rated PG-13

"Which is it today? Morphine or cocaine?"

"It is cocaine. A seven-per-cent solution. Would you care to try it?"


Descriptions of Sherlock Holmes' drug dependency can be found, sporadically, in the original tales of his creator Arthur Conan Doyle.  In the 1974 best-seller THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION, novelist Nicholas Meyer used Holmes' addiction as a springboard to a new series of adventures. After being lured (by his concerned friend Dr. Watson) to the Viennese quarters of Sigmund Freud, Holmes agrees to undergo hypnosis therapy in order to kick his habit.  Eventually, Holmes and Freud combine forces to save the world from the nefarious Professor Moriarty. It's "Sherlock Holmes revisionism" at its finest, with Nicol Williamson as Holmes, Alan Arkin as Freud, Laurence Olivier as Moriarty, and -- in a brilliant feat of off-beat casting -- Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson.

June 13:


Directed by Terence Fisher

Starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

Color; 84 minutes; Rated PG

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES is the most famous Sherlock Holmes mystery, with an instantly recognizable title that has been adapted into at least 20 movie versions (the first arrived in 1914). This 1959 version is one of the best "Hounds", with spooky, atmospheric sets to perfectly match its Gothic tale. Produced by the legendary English studio Hammer Films, it stars those two icons of horror cinema Peter Cushing (as Holmes) and Christopher Lee (as Sir Henry Baskerville). You know the story --- Holmes and Watson travel to the mist-shrouded moors of Baskerville Hall to investigate the curse of a "hellish hound" that has stalked and terrorized generations of Baskervilles.    

"A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen." - Arthur Conan Doyle

June 20:


Directed by Alfred Werker

Starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino, George Zucco

B&W; 85 minutes; Rated PG

How can you have a Sherlock Holmes film series without the infallible Basil Rathbone and permanently bewildered Nigel Bruce? THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES was the second installment of a series of 14 films Rathbone and Bruce made between 1939 and 1946! However, it was the last film in the series that took place in the Victorian England of Arthur Conan Doyle's original tales. (The rest of the Rathbone-Bruce films were set in contemporary London - that is, London during the years of World War Two).  In this 1939 classic, Holmes and Watson battle arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty, the mastermind behind a series of baffling crimes. Rathbone is decked out for the occasion in full-Sherlockian attire: Inverness cape, Deerstalker cap, swan-necked pipe.

July 11:

SHERLOCK, JR.  (1924)

Directed by Buster Keaton

Starring Buster Keaton and Kathryn McGuire

B&W; 45 minutes; Rated PG

Live piano accompaniment by maestro Ethan Uslan

SHERLOCK JR., released in 1924, is a relatively short silent movie, but just long enough to display the breathtaking talents of the great Buster Keaton. In this sublime mixture of fantasy and slapstick, Buster plays a lovelorn projectionist who dreams that he's able to step directly into the movie screen to participate in the detective story that's unfolding. As the "detective", Buster believes that he possesses Sherlockian powers of ratiocination --- and, of course, the power to believe is all that matters in dreams.  

For this silent movie, "live musical accompaniment" will be provided by award-winning ragtime pianist Ethan Uslan.  

Buster Keaton's hilarious 23-minute short THE GOAT (1921) will be screened prior to SHERLOCK, JR. (Mr. Uslan will also accompany THE GOAT on piano.)

July 18:


Directed by Paul McGuigan

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Color; 88 minutes; Rated PG-13

BBC's series SHERLOCK, starring the magnetic Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, is an international sensation (with new episodes still to come). A STUDY IN PINK was the premiere episode that originally aired in July 2010, and is loosely based on Arthur Conan Doyle's first Holmes novel A STUDY IN SCARLET.  When A STUDY IN PINK won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2010, it was recognized "for bringing the beloved Victorian sleuth into the high-tech present while remaining faithful to his creator's original conception". But in spite of the fact that A STUDY IN PINK takes place in the "high-tech present", the iconic details from Conan Doyle's original stories remain: Holmes and Watson live at the same address, have the same landlady, collaborate with the same officers from Scotland Yard --- and somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them.

IT'S ELEMENTARY: SHERLOCK HOLMES ON THE SCREEN will continue in the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016. Please stay tuned for further details and updates.

For further information, please contact:

Sam Shapiro

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

310 North Tryon Street

Charlotte, N.C.   28202

Office #: 704-416-0252


In Category: Film

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