On paper, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace looks like a sure fired winner. Christopher Lee as Holmes, Thorley Walters (who I swear seemed to be channeling Nigel Bruce at times) as Watson, the capable Terence Fisher directing, and Curt Siodmak writing the screenplay, - what could go wrong? It might have been great had the people behind this German/Italian/French co-production not messed with the script and hired a German co-director. The end result is middling at best. Even though the movie may be enjoyable at times, it bears little resemblance to the real Sherlock Holmes. Lee has described it as a "mess". As he put it in an interview, "It was a hodge-podge of stories put together by the German producers which ruined it".
In the movie, Holmes is once again hot on the trail of Moriarty. Holmes feels Moriarty is responsible for two recent murders related to a necklace believed to have once been the property of Cleopatra. Through disguise and trickery, Holmes will attempt to reclaim the necklace and put a stop to Moriarty's nefarious scheme.
The best part of Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace is easily the cast. Lee and Walters are both as good as you might expect. However, I'm not sure what brainiac decided not to hire either man to dub their own voice, but it was a huge, distracting mistake. The supporting cast is populated by a few familiar faces including the lovely (but terribly underused) Senta Berger and Leon Askin (known to most people as General Burkhalter on "Hogan's Heroes"). But Hans Sohnker, unknown to me before watching Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, as Moriarty is the real standout. He goes toe to toe with Lee and comes out looking quite good.
If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, there may be some curiosity value to this movie. Or, if you're a Chirstopher Lee completist, it's worth checking out. Otherwise, skip it.
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