The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes 1970

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,023

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Movie Info

A bored Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) meets Madame Petrova (Tamara Toumanova), a famed ballerina, who tries to seduce him, hoping that their child will have her body and his brains. He manages to extract himself from her grasp, using Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely) as a decoy. Then he and the doctor head for Loch Ness in search of the missing husband of Gabrielle Valladon (Genevieve Page). While there, they meet Sherlock's brother, Mycroft (Christopher Lee), who aids them in solving the mystery.

Cast & Crew

Robert Stephens
Sherlock Holmes
Colin Blakely
Dr.John H. Watson
Geneviève Page
Ilse von Hoffmanstal, aka Gabrielle Valladon
Irene Handl
Mrs. Hudson
Christopher Lee
Mycroft Holmes
Clive Revill
Nikolai Rogozhin
Tamara Toumanova
Madame Petrova
George Benson
Insp. Lestrade (scenes deleted)
Catherine Lacy
Woman in Wheelchair
Arthur Conan Doyle
Writer (Characters)
I.A.L. Diamond
Associate Producer
Miklós Rózsa
Original Music
Christopher Challis
Cinematographer
Ernest Walter
Film Editor
Lesley De Pettit
Casting
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Critic Reviews for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2)

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

    February 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The plotting is weak, and ill-served by the movie's generally lackadaisical approach; but the dialogue is witty, and Wilder and Diamond get a lot of mileage out of the idea that Sherlock Holmes is as fragile as he is brilliant.

    July 22, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | 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.

    August 14, 2007 | Full Review…
    Guardian
    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.

    August 14, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • A true evocation of the spirit of the Strand Magazine, this is the best Holmes movie ever made and sorely underrated in the Wilder canon.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A wonderful, cruelly underrated film.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

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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