Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] [Eng/Fre] [1916]

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Special Features

  • "From Lost to Found: restoring William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes" - presented by film restorer Robert Byrne at the 2015 San Francisco Silent Film Festival
  • A Canine Sherlock (1912): from the EYE Filmmuseum, the film stars Spot the dog as the titular character
  • A digital scan of the original contract between William Gillette and the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (DVD only)
  • A typescript of William Gillette's play, Sherlock Holmes, on which the film is based (DVD only)
  • Beautiful and rarely-seen promotional photographs from the original 1899 Broadway production
  • HD transfers from the Fox Movietone Collection:
  • Interview with Arthur Conan Doyle and outtakes from a 1930 newsreel with William Gillette showing off his amateur railroad (University of South Carolina)
  • New bonus film scores by composer/performer Cliff Retallick
  • Più forte che Sherlock Holmes (1913): also from the EYE Filmmuseum, this entertaining Italian trick-film owes as much to Méliès as it does Doyle
  • Rare lobby cards and flyer from the first run of 1916 Sherlock Holmes film
  • Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900): courtesy of the Library of Congress and presented in HD, this is the earliest known film to feature Sherlock Holmes


Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle never specified in any of his sixty Sherlock Holmes stories that his fictional creation wore a deerstalker cap, smoked a curved pipe or relaxed off-duty in luxurious dressing gowns. In fact, much of our popular visualization of the master detective (as well as the phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson") originated from the work of actor/director/playwright William Gillette, who in 1899 wrote the stage play Sherlock Holmes and performed the title role in extended international tours and multiple revivals. (He chose the curved pipe because it allowed him to speak his lines without blocking his mouth.) The virile and magnetic Gillette was one of the most popular performers of his era, but he is mostly forgotten today because his sole motion picture performance -- a 1916 silent adaptation of the play that made him famous - was thought lost to time. But in October 2014, silent film historians rejoiced when a mislabeled French-language nitrate negative was uncovered in Paris's Cinémathèque Française archive - and Sherlock fans were equally jubilant to discover its plot was a faithful adaptation of Gillette's play, with Sherlock's hunt for incriminating documents on behalf of the bewitching Alice Faulkner (Marjorie Kay) thwarted by his sinister nemesis Professor Moriarty (Ernest Maupin). The romantic angle to the story is unusual, but it was done with Doyle's blessing to Gillette to "marry him, murder him, or do what you like" to the character. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Edward Fielding - Dr. Watson
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    Ernest Maupain - Prof. Moriarty
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    Chester Beery - Craigin
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.