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

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Ronald Howard as a handsome Sherlock Holmes
SHERLOCK HOLMES (1954 British television series.)

Sherlock Holmes is a credible British TV series that lasted for one interesting season. The well-cast star playing the famous sleuth was Ronald Howard [Black Orchid], the son of Leslie Howard, who made a much handsomer Holmes than usual. Howard Marion-Crawford [The Face of Fu Manchuwas Watson, and Archie Duncan was Inspector Lestrade. Some of the earlier episodes were a bit sitcom-like at times, with way too much humor, but the performances were always good. Rarely did the characters ever show much compassion for the assorted victims. Among the better episodes: "Blind Man's Bluff," which presents a series of revenge murders with a powerful motive; "Split Ticket," in which three people sharing one sweepstakes ticket leads to trouble; "Laughing Mummy," in which odd developments surround a mummy case from which issues giggling; "The Perfect Husband," in which a man, perfectly played by Michael Gough, boldly tells his wife that he intends to murder her as he did the seven wives before her (with a suitably macabre denouement). Other interesting episodes include "Mother Hubbard," "The Red-Headed League" (from a classic Doyle story); and "Shoeless Engineer." The all-time worst episode was probably the silly "Texas Cowgirl," in which the extremely irritating title character finds a dead man in her hotel room. Guest-stars on the series include Natalie Schafer, Dawn Addams, and Tony Wright. Steve Previn directed most of the episodes, and the show has an excellent theme by composer Paul Durand.

Verdict: Entertaining, well-acted, if not essential viewing. **1/2.

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