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  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by steereomono
    A friend who grew up in the area said that Dingwall Station was used (about 14 miles north of Inverness)
    Thanks for that steereomono - but I don't think it was Dingwall. I've looked at as many pictures of Dingwall as I can find and while it does bear certain resemblances to the station used in Sherlock Holmes, I think it must be another place. The killer fact for me is that the bridge used by the Trappist Monks is on the other side of the tracks to the main station building. Dingwall has two bridges and the architecture doesn't tie up with the scene in the film. I'm almost coming to the conclusion that it was a Trauner set built for just one shot!

  2. #22
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    Since my last post (above) I have occasionally spent long minutes - indeed hours - tracking down that damn railway station. Then today Mrs T, in a matter of moments, Googled in something quite different and came up with Nairn. And that indeed is where the station is, unchanged since Mr Wilder & Co were there and, indeed, unchanged since the 1880s.

  3. #23
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes"



    Advertisement: With no offense to the Victorian nostalgics.....



    The fact that the submarine was made for an equipage of midgets AND the Queen Victoria is really funny



    Moon.



    P.S: B.Wilder did "Fedora" after this, is it available on DVD support ??....

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  5. #25
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    Thanks Mr Bats.

  6. #26
    Member Country: UK
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    I saw this film at the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus in December 1970.



    A wonderful film which I try to watch every few years and always enjoy.



    Sheer class.

  7. #27
    Junior Member Country: Wales
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    WARNING - Contains Spoilers





    billy wilder's much underated classic gets my vote as favourite british movie of all time.



    Filmed in 1970 lead robert stephens (who played holmes) hoped it would propel him to the kind of success and stardom enjoyed by his then wife maggie smith following her wonderful performance in the prime of miss jean brodie...alas and for reasons ive never quite understood things didnt work out quite as expected......either for stephens or this wonderful and haunting film.



    Partly to blame it seems was the fact that an awful editing job............conducted while wilder was away from the studio.....saw a full hour of the film cut ....with the cuts apparently being lost forever......but despite this in my view the film still holds a coherent and intruiging plot together as holmes and his sidekick watson - played wonderfully by colin blakely - encounter beautiful belgian lady Gabrielle Valladon who appears to have lost her memory ....resulting in the three of them becoming embroiled in a tale involving the loch ness monster, scottish castles, prototype submarines, trappist monks and a legendary female german spy - and underpinning it all is the quietly blossoming relationship that developes through the film between holmes and Gabrielle Valladon (played by Genevi�ve Page) who we learn at the films climax is actually the legendary german spy Ilse von Hoffmanstal and who it seems has been duping the lovestruck holmes all along........or has she?



    As the film's tender conclusion leaves one wondering whether a real love had developed between the two......and whether this impacted on holmes behavior towards von Hoffmanstal ...as in such circumstances it would normaly have been customary for such a spy to be imprisoned for a very long time .....or perhaps worse. But we learn that as a result of holmes 'persona'l intervention von Hoffmanstal is to be exchanged for a britsh spy and is to return home to germanyl



    Similarly when holmes learns in the film's final moving scene that has been executed in japan for spying he discovers in a letter from his brother mycroft (played by christopher lee) that she was living under the alias mrs ashdown while in japan.............the name they had used when the posing as a couple travelling around scotland!!!



    Perhaps what makes this film so enjoyable for me is the mesmerising score put together specially for the film by epic film composer miklos rozsa, which he based on his famous violin concerto.



    A truly wonderful british film that deserves to be remembered...........and which will hopefully be enjoyed by new audiences for years to come.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Country: England
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    BBC Radio 2 presented an amazing documentary on the missing footage of this film back in the 90s...featuring Martin Scorsese, Robert Stevens, Chris' Lee plus many of the technicians. I think it was called 'Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Film' presented by Betty Marsden and written by Steve Archer. One day they might release it as it was meant to be!

    Film Man.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I know a lot of people like the movie. I didn't like the characterizations of Holmes and Watson. I hope they release the movie with the missing footage, but I doubt it will change my opinion.

  10. #30
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    hey thanks for that info filmman...............fascinating .....and i hope that does happen........with the missing footage added it would almost be like watching a completely new film..



    yes will15 i guess the film definitely takes a different approach to the 'relationship' between homes and watson than in other 'holmes' films.........indeed holmes hints at one point of a 'intimate' relationship between the two...........though of course this is just a wheeze he has made up to put off the advances of an ageing russian ballarerina who wants holmes to be a surrogate dad!!!



    But in fact holmes attitude to women is a theme that runs the length of the film..........causing watson at one point to even question his partners 'orientation' as he is not aware of holmes ever having had a relationship with a woman. But as holmes makes clear he doesnt dislike women.............he 'merely distrusts them............the sparkle in the eyes the arsenic in the tea.' Certainly this characterisation of holmes apparent sexual ambiguityi know offended some holmes fans but i think the film is all the more memorable for that.



    i feel that in TPLSH holmes grows up somewhat and as we see as the movie unfolds appears to fall in love with a woman. Also i do feel there is a genuine rapport and warmth in the relationship on screen between blakely and stephens............a rapport not seen since the heyday of rathbone and bruce



    but i of course realise that TPLSH is not everyones 'glass of tea' to borrow a quote from holmes in the film

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I thought Stephens and Blakely had no rapport at all. It might have been more interesting if Lemmon and Matheau played the parts. Well, funnier. I just think there was a sourness that crept into Wilder's films in the 1960's and Private Life didn't escape it. Exploring Holmes' sexuality didn't bother me, but it required the kind of light touch Lubitsch could have given it. Wilder admired Lubitsch, wrote screenplays for him, tried to emulate his style in Love in the Afternoon and Sabrina, but it required a detached irony that eludes Wilder. (He almost pulled it off in Sabrina)

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I said on an earlier post how Wilder’s Sherlock is one of my all-time favourite films. I once co-authored a book on Wilder in which we argued how Wilder’s later movies - Sherlock, Avanti, Fedora - revealed a mellowness unusual for its director. Sadly, Avanti now has me often squirming with embarrassment, even though I still think it features Lemmon’s career-best performance. I once told Lemmon that and got a look that said, “Are you out of your skull, numb-nuts?” I used to see Wilder quite a lot in the 1980s - two lunches a year, anyway, once with Fred Zinnemann, and there was also an incredible dinner in Rome with Wilder, Fellini and Leone.



    Wilder never wanted to discuss Sherlock. I told him I loved the movie and he sort of sighed. He was clearly uncomfortable talking about it on the documentaries made about him. I’ve lately done some more research on the movie and I’m shocked by how profligate Wilder was. It’s almost the Heaven’s Gate of its era. I’m shocked by how Jenny Hanley’s part mushroomed; how the entire unit went down to the Cotswolds for just two shots; why they built that mega-set of the Diogenes Club interior for just another shot; the whole ludicrous episode of the ship, which entailed building a totally unnecessary 40-foot model; and the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, a vast undertaking involving 3000 extras. Now, I would love to see the movie as Wilder envisaged it but, really, this production was out of control, as evidenced by the above and the less than well-documented suicide attempt by the stressed-out and bullied Robert Stephens.



    I think in later life Wilder was wounded by the experience and probably embarrassed by his conduct - the word went round Hollywood that he had become a liability. And of course the way he personally cut the movie to shreds, at the bidding of UA, made a mockery of his status. That was really a humiliation. I think the movie was a victim, too, of many things - cinematic fashion (the sort of thing that also sunk Ryan’s Daughter) and the presumption that the movie would be a racy comedy, a send-up - neatly summarised by the idea in the previous post by will.15 that it would have been funnier if Lemmon and Matthau had played Sherlock and Watson. I don’t think Wilder was after laughs at all. Nor irony. Personally, I think the movie is still utterly sublime - it hasn’t dated a jot - and that Stephens and Blakely are flawless. Considering the conditions in which it was made, that’s a bloody marvel.



    PS: Does anyone have a clue where the graveyard scene with the midgets was shot? I know for a fact that it’s not Scotland, and not Gerrards Cross. It was, though, an hour from London.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    I rate it as one of the best Holmes films along with The Adventures and the Hammer Hound. The casting of Stephens and Blakely works ok for me though the original casting of Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers would have been fascinating and sounds on paper like dream team casting.



    Wilder was quite brave putting Lee as Mycroft, and even braver asking him to divest himself of his usual wig, when few other top flight directors were giving him work in major budget films. Lee rises to the challenge magnificently IMHO, not the Mycroft of the books (Robert Morley was closer) but a memorable performance all the same.



    The missing scenes hold some fascination for me and I doubt now whether we will see those scenes in their entirerity again. I am content to see an slightly flawed but still great film, mixing fictions greatest detective with one of the great directors. The only time it has happened.



    Ps



    Have always assumed that Stanley Holloway was cast as a gravedigger as a sly reference to his Hamlet work.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: Germany
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    Interestingly, the Bayerischer Rundfunk filmed a b/w portrait of Billy Wilder for TV at the time he was making The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. It had some fascinating clips of him and of the main actors on the set, with several interviews if I remember correctly, and among the scenes shown was a short clip of the filming of "The Upside-Down Room" episode and one of Clive Revill's character bringing Blakely's Watson flowers!

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