Cinémathèque Française, a French film archive, has discovered a long lost film version of Sherlock Holmes. Plans are underway to restore the film for a 2015 release. Noted future appearances include the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in May and the Cinémathèque Française’s restoration festival in January.
San Francisco Silent Film Festival Board President and Film restorer Robert Byrne has this to say about the 1916 motion picture:
“It’s an amazing privilege to work with these reels that have been lost for generations.”
The famed fictional detective first appeared in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel “A Study in Scarlet” in 1886. Over time Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson would appear in more novels and many short stories. They would soon become icons in not only literature, but the definitive image of what a detective is.
Many actors had portrayed Holmes on stage, film, cartoons and television shows since the character was first written. Noted names include Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch, Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing.
One of the most famous names to play the Baker Street hero was William Gillette. He had played the character many times in various stage productions. In 1916, he appeared in this film and it’s the only Sherlock film in which he is the star. It is said that Gillette is responsible for Sherlock’s famous deerstalker hat.
“William Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes’ has ranked among the holy grails of lost film and my first glimpse of the footage confirms Gillette’s magnetism. Audiences are going to be blown away when they see the real Sherlock Holmes on screen for the first time.” Robert Byrne
How many of our readers would like to watch this picture? Let us know in the comments and if anyone is going to ether festival, please let us know what the experience of watching it was like.