The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
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In Billy Wilder's cinematic homage to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British stage luminary Robert Stephens plays Holmes, while Colin Blakely is his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson. This self-described "hitherto suppressed and thoroughly fascinating" tale concerns Holmes' search for a missing mining engineer -- a case that may have a far-reaching effect on the national security of England. Along the way, Holmes falls in love for the first time in his life, with enigmatic foreign beauty Gabrielle Valladon (Genevieve Page). In this 1970 film, Wilder emphasizes such… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is in large part old-fashioned, in that it's mile-wide and ancient-history Sherlock Holmes, but it's also handsomely produced and directed with incisiveness by Wilder."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Before the movie is 20 minutes old, Wilder has settled for simply telling a Sherlock Holmes adventure."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This existing version is still fascinating, funny and clever."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A true evocation of the spirit of the Strand Magazine, this is the best Holmes movie ever made and sorely underrated in the Wilder canon."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Wilder's after something more profound than a simple mystery tale here and to a large extent he succeeds in his quest to cast the man in relief when held up against The Legend"
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"A wonderful, cruelly underrated film."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is comparatively mild Billy Wilder and rather daring Sherlock Holmes, not a perfect mix, perhaps, but a fond and entertaining one."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Billy Wilder's endearingly romantic The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is...worth seeing just for Alexandre Trauner's sets, especially a magical Baker Street."
‑ , Guardian [UK]
"Stage actor Robert Stephens brilliantly plays Holmes with a nod and a wink."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The setup is brilliant. The central mystery -- concerning the Loch Ness Monster -- is less rewarding, and its shaggy sea-monster solution somewhat less than that."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Wilder's second most underrated masterpiece."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Affectionately conceived, chock-full of marvelous subtleties, this meticulously constructed adventure-romance shouldn't be missed."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"This unjustly forgotten Billy Wilder film takes on the much-loved character of Sherlock Holmes and attempts to humanize him by examining his vulnerabilities."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Billy Wilder's psychological angle on Holmes is compelling."
‑ Steve Crum,
"A mismatch of flavours (Holmes, Wilder) the thought of which doesn't so much turn your stomach as lead to speculation, and the taste of which is soured only by a foreknowledge of missed opportunities."
‑ Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central
More reviews for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes on Rotten Tomatoes