24 March 2015 | roedyg
Fun, Silly Romp
In this movie, Sherlock is 17, tall and emaciated with very bushy eyebrows looking quite unEnglish.
It is acted in a hammy sort of way, as if it were a filmed stage play.
There are plenty of eccentric characters besides Sherlock. All are given time to develop into individuals, even the evil henchmen.
The plot is quite James Bondian. The melodramatic villains repeatedly capture Sherlock, then either give him an escape test, give him a present, put him to sleep, present some elaborate charade, or just let him go. They never just shoot him. I could never figure out why they bothered capturing him.
There are lots of surprises, but that is mainly because the villains are bonkers.
Helen Chase as Aunt Rachel does a brilliant performance, I can't quite figure out what she did, but I instantly loathed her, sort of like Maggie Smith, but horrible. Some of her attributes include:
putting people down, subtly
excessive concern with social status, fawning over those with higher status
complaining that others are not considerate of her
continual references to her superior Christian virtue
Eva Griffiths, plays Charity, her spoiled brat of a child, who reminded me of a Pekinese. She was her mother in training.
The picture is cloudy, as if filmed at low res, and the frame is square, not letterbox. It was filmed in 9 TV episodes. 3 DVDs worth. This drags the story out a bit much. For example, the denouement takes an entire episode. It was stolen from the Wizard of Oz.
The "fight" scenes are amateurish to the extreme. You might see better in a high school play.
However, despite all its faults, it is entertaining and leaves you smiling.