Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - The Copper Beeches

David Burke as Watson and Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes


  1. I can't even begin to say how much I adore Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes! I really like the newest Sherlock on PBS, but Jeremy Brett is just classic.

  2. Yes, besides Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, I adore Jeremy Brett and his two Watsons, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke. That was a wonderful series. I still watch it all the time. Netflix has it on Instant View. Thank goodness. :)

    But I also love the original stories by Doyle as well.

  3. Hello Yvette:
    We are afraid that no-one can replace the wonderful Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce for us as the film Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. We just loved them in those early black and white moody and, at times, wobbling scenery. Perfect!!!

    However, the Conan Doyle books we did find up to being re-read and there are very few novels that we can say that about. Ripping yarns indeed!!

  4. Jeremy Brett personified Sherlock Holmes and my guess is Arthur Conan Doyle would have approved. Out of the 20-odd actors who played the great detective, Basil Rathbone was easily the second best. Christopher Lee looked the part too. I have often wondered why nobody cast Jeremy Irons as Holmes.

  5. Jane and Lance: There was never anyone like Basil Rathbone. He was wonderful in anything he did. I even liked him when he played villains. But as Sherlock Holmes he was superb. But I must say that Jeremy Brett was a very close second.

    I reread the short stories and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES every now and then. They are at the top of my 100 Best Mysteries List which I am currently working on.

    Stay tuned. :)

  6. Prashant: Funny you should mention Jeremy Irons. I, too, think he would make a wonderful Holmes.

    Most especially if they ever film THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE, the great book by Laurie R. King which features Holmes and Mary Russell.

  7. Ah Sherlock Holmes! My first major mystery read was The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I love the Sherlock Holmes story collections, the novels not so much. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is possibly my favourite. The Copper Beeches is one of my favourites from the book. It had a pretty clever plot.

  8. wutheringwillow: I love the short stories best too, except for THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES which is my favorite Doyle novel.

    Some of the short stories have a really good 'creepy' quotient. COPPER BEECHES is one of them.

  9. My favorite duo has to be Brett and his two Watsons. Rathbone also did an excellent job as Holmes, but Brett I thought was best.

    I disliked Nigel Bruce as Watson because he played Watson as a loyal but stuffy, bumbling fool, more for comic relief than as the intelligent person Doyle created, though overshadowed, of course, by Holmes.

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  11. Fred: Though I sort of agree with your take on Nigel Bruce, I have to admit I always liked him anyway.

    Probably because of Bruce's naive likability and his movie presence. There was always something about him that appealed to me.

  12. True.

    I think Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot proved that this was so; behind the beautiful mansions and among the lovely fields and brooks lies many crimes: murder, blackmail, robbery, domestic abuse.

  13. Yvette,

    I also like Nigel Bruce. I thought he was a good actor. My objection was the way Watson was portrayed.

    I assume, perhaps wrongly, that the portrayal was the decision of the director. The director wanted Bruce to play Watson that way, and Bruce certainly did an excellent job of portraying him as stuffy, etc.

  14. Fred: I think we generally agree. It always used to rankle me a bit too the way Holmes (Rathbone) talked down to him, occasionally almost as an insult. But Watson's devotion, despite his bumbling, was always much appreciated by Holmes - Rathbone showed that several times in his portrayal.

    In one of the movies, Bruce as Watson gets to sing the old Scottish song, Loch Lomond and the way he did it always brought a tear to my eye. So damn touching.

    The movie was: PURSUIT TO ALGIERS.


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