The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes


The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,014
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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Photos

Movie Info

'Private Life' is both an elegiac evocation of late Victorian England and a boldly modern take on the dark side of the "real" Sherlock Holmes.

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Critic Reviews for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10)

  • The entire effort may, I think, be ascribed to an insufficiency of imagination.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Aug 14, 2007 | Full Review…
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Aug 14, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • A wonderful, cruelly underrated film.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Wilder's second most underrated masterpiece.

    Sep 29, 2005

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • Before the movie is 20 minutes old, Wilder has settled for simply telling a Sherlock Holmes adventure.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

  • Jun 01, 2016
    There have been many Sherlock Holmes films, but this is one of the best thanks to Wilder and a flawless lead performance by Stephens.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 22, 2016
    A different take on the myth if Sherlock Holmes. In this he is all too human: a drug addict, a homosexual, and not even too swift as a detective. At least the film is accomplished with talent, but it leaves a disquieting feeling of dissatisfaction seeing a heroic figure fail so many ways. The character one is lead to empathize with the most with loses at the end ... most irregular. Watch at your own peril.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2013
    It seems like Billy Wilder can do no wrong when it comes to filmmaking; "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" stands out as his most supremely underrated work. A film of wonderful performances, offbeat humor and intriguing mystery, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" unfolds at a very deliberate pace, taking close to forty minutes to actually get started. Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely give us without question the best cinematic representation of the flamboyant detective and his knowledgeable companion, each delivering lively, nuanced performances. It has been said that "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" was originally intended to run close to around three hours long, but due to studio interference, it was cut down and excess footage was lost. What a shame: there's no telling how grand that three hour version might have been.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2012
    As a huge Sherlock Holmes fan I really had high hopes for this one. Major disappointment. The cast was fine, the overall concept was interesting, the script was fair, and the result was the equivalent of a gay Sherlock Holmes SNL skit stretched to over 2 hours. I'm somewhat baffled at these critical reviews.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer

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