The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes
The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes

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Certificate: PG | Released: 1970 | Duration: 2 hrs | Director: Billy Wilder | Studio: Mgm Entertainment | Genres: Comedy - Thriller - Action/Adventure

In what may be the director's most personal film, he makes use of incidents from his own life in exploring the mystery of Sherlock Holmes sexual preference and past romances. Robert Stephens stars as the fictional detective, shooting cocaine to alleviate the boredom that plagues him between cases. But his ennui evaporates when he and longtime colleague Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) receive tickets to the performance of a Russian ballet company. Afterwards, Petrova (Tamara Toumanova), the prima ballerina asks Holmes to become ... (Full plot summary below)

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In what may be the director's most personal film, he makes use of incidents from his own life in exploring the mystery of Sherlock Holmes sexual preference and past romances. Robert Stephens stars as the fictional detective, shooting cocaine to alleviate the boredom that plagues him between cases. But his ennui evaporates when he and longtime colleague Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) receive tickets to the performance of a Russian ballet company. Afterwards, Petrova (Tamara Toumanova), the prima ballerina asks Holmes to become the father of his child, intending to combine her beauty with his intellect. Holmes refuses on the basis that he and Watson are lovers, greatly annoying his staunchly heterosexual companion, who begins to wonder whether the detective really is gay. Before this mystery can be solved, the two men find Gabrielle Valladon (Genevieve Page), a beautiful and intriguing woman in the grip of amnesia, on their doorstep. When she remembers that she's seeking her husband, Holmes agrees to take the case, and is soon off to Scotland. Matters grow progressively more bizarre, as the detective must deal with the Loch Ness monster, a family of midgets, and an experimental submarine. Unique among the director's films, it's steeped in a bittersweet romanticism, expressing a vulnerabilty and self-doubt found nowhere else in the body of his work. Robert Stephens, who was so overwhelmed by the intense sense of self-loathing Wilder wished him to explore that he attempted suicide during production, is excellent as Holmes, and the florid romanticism of Miklos Rosza's violin concerto creates a suitable ambiance.

Sherlock Holmes tackles his most baffling case, involving him with a beautiful and treacherous woman, spies, and the Loch Ness Monster!

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