Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


SHERLOCK HOLMES (1954 TV series). Directors: Steve Previn; Jack Gage.

Based on the these two representative episodes -- "The Case of the Haunted Gainsborough"and "The Case of the Winthrop Legend" -- this fifties TV series about the great detective was entertaining and rather well done. Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford [pictured] are excellent as, respectively, Holmes and Dr. Watson. Crawford plays Watson more like he was in the stories, and Howard -- son of Leslie Howard -- makes a handsomer Holmes than usual. In the first story, Holmes investigates when a Scottish Laird in fear of losing his castle complains that a ghost of a young woman is haunting the place. In the second episode Holmes and Watson travel to an estate that hasn't been opened in thirty years where legend says that John Winthrop will die as his father did -- and he does. Holmes unearths the culprit in each case. The stories are pastiches of Doyle's tales, but they are compact, atmospheric, and directed in dramatic fashion. Fine theme music by Paul Durand. Produced by Sheldon Reynolds.

Verdict: Creditable old TV series about the venerable sleuth. ***.

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