Sherlock Holmes a matter of perspective…

Posted: December 26, 2009 by datechguy in oddities
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Take a look at this excerpt from Loder’s review of the new movie:

Ritchie’s pandering to the action audience (an agenda no doubt reinforced by knock-’em-dead producer Joel Silver) strips Holmes’ world of its style. The director and his production designer, Sarah Greenwood, have taken considerable pains to conjure the dark cobbled streets and plush interiors of Victorian London — as shot by Philippe Rousselot, this is often a great-looking movie. But the sense of prickly wit and gracious restraint that was translated to the screen so well by the old Holmes films — with their indelible performances by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Watson — is buried in the over-amped frenzy of this new picture. The only real mystery here is how anyone involved could have thought that trashing such a classic would be a cool idea.

And now take a look at this quote from Nigel Bruce’s via IMDB concerning the classic Holmes movies he made with Basil Rathbone:

The stories we did were modernised but the characters of the famous detective and his biographer were kept more or less as originally written by Conan Doyle. Watson, however, in the films was made much more of a ‘comic’ character than he ever was in the books. This was with the object of introducing a little light relief. The doctor, as I played him, was a complete stooge for his brilliant friend and one whose intelligence was almost negligible. Many of the lovers of Conan Doyle must have been shocked, not by this caricature of the famous doctor but by seeing the great detective alighting from an aeroplane and the good doctor listening to his radio. To begin with, Basil and I were much opposed to the modernising of these stories but the producer, Howard Benedict, pointed out to us that the majority of youngsters who would see our pictures were accustomed to the fast-moving action of gangster pictures, and that expecting machine guns, police sirens, cars travelling at 80 miles an hour and dialogue such as ‘Put em up bud’, they would be bored with the magnifying glass, the hansom cabs, the cobblestones and the slow tempo of an era they never knew and a way of life with which they were completely unfamiliar.

What a difference a half century or so makes!

Comments
  1. Cavan says:

    A fascinating point. I did have one conversation with someone who moaned that the new movie’s Victorian London wasn’t as realistic as the movies of Rathbone or the TV show of Brett. While I love the Granada TV series, I wasn’t sure whether to tell him that all but two of Rathbone’s flicks were set in the 1940s!