The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) | Bluray dual format release

January 17th, 2018
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Billy Wilder | Writers: I A I Diamond, Billy Wilder | Comedy drama | US |

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a triumph largely due to the wittily elegant repartee that Wilder wrote with I A I Diamond for Robert Stephen’s world weary Holmes and his sidekick Watson, played by Colin Blakely. Teetering on the edge of romantic drama the film delicately suggests, in an jokey endearing way, that the sleuthing duo are also a gay partnership, an assertion that Watson fiercely seems to refute, deeply concerned for his public reputation. But their status is somehow left gently in the ether in a clever scene where Holmes wants to disentangle himself from siring a child for a Russian ballerina. And later when Watson asks him if he can prove his sexuality via female conquests: “There have been women, haven’t there, or am I being presumptuous?” Holmes responds: “yes – you are being presumptuous.” Although the film feels dated in its classic 1970s aesthetic – a brassily florid and theatrical look – there is a great deal to enjoy thanks to the amusing dialogue and perfectly pitched performances. MT

AVAILABLE on dual format bluray from EUREKA Masters of Cinema series | January 22 |2018

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