Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sherlock Holmes before he was an action hero

Now that the most famous detective in the world has been turned into Jason Bourne, it's great that TCM is having a Sherlock Homes film festival. It is a good chance to see how the movies have traditionally portrayed the character. I have seen a couple of the Basil Rathbone ones. They are fun to watch, even though Dr. Watson is portrayed too much like a bumbling fool, something that goes against the Watson of the Conan Doyle novels. But Basil Rathbone is indeed great as the great detective. He is brainy, smart, cool and clever. I love his portrayal, especially his voice.

TCM also showed The Hound of the Baskervilles with Holmes being portrayed by Peter Cushing and he does a excellent job. Cushing was a really underrated actor, stuck with the label of being an actor of horror movies.This movie shows he could have been more.

Of course, the best Holmes was not in the movies, but on tv. Jeremy Brett's portrayal in the British Granada Tv series is indeed the definite one. His Holmes is eccentric, strange and brilliant. When I read the novels, and I do once in a while, I read them with Brett's portrayal in mind.

Will I watch the new movie? I won't. I refuse to see Holmes for the ADD generation. I just can't.

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