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Who is your favorite Sherlock Holmes actor?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Wireless, May 1, 2015.

  1. Wireless

    Wireless Well-Known Member

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    There are so many I think I have several favorites :)
    So, I'm just going to put them in a list in no particular order:
    1.) Disney's Basil the Great Mouse Detective.
    I know that Basil isn't Holmes, but the film was probably my first introduction to Sherlock Holmes. Plus, Basil is everything that Holmes should be - energetic, dramatic, sometimes moody, sometimes charming. Also, the film uses a clip of Basil Rathbones' voice from the 1940s radio series he recorded.
    2.) Clive Merrison.
    Merrison played Holmes on the radio. And, I have read and heard, is the only actor to have played Holmes in adaptations of all of the canon stories as well as the novels. Micheal Williams, achieved the same, as Watson opposite Merrison. Merrison continued to play Holmes on the radio in a pastiche series called The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes written by Bert Coules.
    3.) Jeremy Brett
    There are moments when you see Holmes looking so sad. Brett described it as a "crack in the marble" where briefly you see Holmes' emotions. This Holmes seemed so haunted at times he was gripping to watch. Plus, I love how much Brett uses his hands and arms to express emotion rather than his face. I heard that Brett was fifty (maybe I'm wrong) when he started playing the role, but from the way he constantly leaps over furniture, climbs up into awkward places and curls up in his chair, I'd never guessed it.
    4.) Basil Rathbone
    He's just so cool and charming and a little bit cold all at the same time. Plus, I think he may have been the first Holmes to have been played in the present day.
    5.) Ronald Howard
    I haven't seen all of his series yet, but I do like him. His Holmes seems a little more warmer and laid back than the others. But, he has a skeleton (which he keeps in the cupboard) called Nebuchadnezzar and keeps the tea in a jar which used to have snake poison in it. He gets really happy and excited when in one episode he meets an escape artist named Harry Croaker and is thoroughly impressed by all his tricks.

    I apologize for rambling.
    Please share yours:D
     
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  2. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd say Tom Baker, since his Doctor was the closest to Sherlock.

    Basil was cool, too.
     
  3. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy Brett. No contest. No one has or ever will outdo his portrayal of Holmes. What a wonderful actor he was.

    Granada Television is the only network that has ever bothered to faithfully adapt Conan Doyle’s stories from page to screen. So Brett had that going for him as well.
     
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  4. Trophonius

    Trophonius Active Member

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    I love this thread. I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes when I was teenager. I read all the books, watched all the movies and tv episodes I could find, then read some not-so-good SH stories by other authors. It was the one time my family got so tired of SH that they didn't want to hear more about anything related to Holmes — and they still don't.

    Jeremy Brett is my favorite Holmes. Jeremy Brett's performance is the most unique the character has ever seen, it was a breakthrough of the "standard" interpretations before (both of Holmes and detectives), and a commitment to the character without precedent. This man gave his life to the character, possibly to the risk of his own sanity.

    I also want to recommend the documentary Elementary my dear viewer, it's excellent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  5. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I’ve read the short stories and novels quite a few times as well! I read a few of them every few months, but I pull the entire volume off of my bookshelf about every year and a half and read all of them from first to last. Don’t you love the illustrations by Sidney Paget, too?

    I think every fan of the stories prefers Jeremy Brett over any other actor’s portrayal of Holmes. Like you said, his performance and the show itself was a breakthrough. And he brought that extra little bit of spunk and humor to the role. I always loved that. Do you like David Burke or Edward Hardwicke better as Watson? I prefer Burke. Hardwicke was good but far too dignified.

    I saved the documentary you linked up. I think I’ve seen it before, but I’ll certainly watch it again. Just the other day I listened to an interview with Stephen Fry talking about Jeremy. It’s pretty cool.
     
  6. Trophonius

    Trophonius Active Member

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    I agree with you, David Burke felt to me like a more solid character, or at least, more unique as a Watson. I like Hardwicke too, but instead he seems too "soft" — from what I read somewhere, he and Jeremy were friends in real life, and I think this brought an interesting dynamic to the show but it's not how I imagine Watson behavior to Holmes — being Watson a veteran who established friendship with Holmes not so long ago.


    I re-read some of the stories often, but others I can't. The ones I can't are the ones I feel Doyle didn't want to write, which is a vibe I get from a many post-Memoirs stories. The Valley of Fear was my least favorite one, as it seems Doyle wrote a different novel altogether and later added some chapters with Holmes to replicate the structure in A Study in Scarlet. Oddly enough, most some of my favorite stories, the ones I remember with most detail, are post-Memoirs: The Adventure of the Dancing Men, and The Problem of Thor Bridge; within the Memoirs I also love The Naval Treaty.

    I love this scene

     
  7. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Burke was a playful Watson. He and Holmes were so silly together, but the silliness ended when Hardwick took over the role. For the most part, anyway. Burke and Brett made the first season so funny. It’s my favorite.

    Wow, I never thought about that (that Doyle’s boredom with the series may have negatively affected the quality of the later stories). Poor guy. He wanted to stop after “The Final Problem,” but the public had other ideas! I just started a book called The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders. There’s no way Doyle was going to escape Holmes so easily; the title of the book says it all.

    I love The Hound of the Baskervilles and the other novels, but I haven’t read The Valley of Fear in a long time. Maybe because I found it as unmemorable as you did. Some of my favorite short stories are also my favorite episodes in the Granada series, such as “The Solitary Cyclist,” “The Greek Interpreter,” “The Second Stain,” and “The Speckled Band.” Have you watched “The Greek Interpreter” lately? The actor who plays the giggling man villain does a Peter Lorre impression from The Maltese Falcon. It’s hilarious. Which stories are your favorites?

    “The Naval Treaty,” yes! Tadpole Phelps. The video you embedded is the entire episode, so I just watched the whole thing again, but which scene did you mean was your favorite?
     
  8. Trophonius

    Trophonius Active Member

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    I tried to set the video to begin at the time set 43:40, but it looks like the embedding code of the forum doesn't allow it. It's when Holmes gives him the treaty.

    The Hound of Baskervilles it's a really good novel. It's probably the best of the novels, and in my opinion is followed by A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, and The Valley of Fear last.

    I haven't watch The Greek Interpreter lately; in fact it's been a time since I watched the Granada series, so it might be time already for a re-watch.

    The code in the Dancing Men story is the reason is one of my favorites. It looks like the code is very simple, but it was neat idea nonetheless
    [​IMG]

    And because of the kind of endings I'm into, The Problem of the Thor Bridge and The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger are also high on my list.
     
  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes. Just as Errol Flynn IS Robin Hood.

    Or that Sean Connery IS James Bond.

    That is all... :cool:
     
  10. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Ha! Yes, that part! I love that Holmes has a touch of the trickster in him. He jokes around like that sometimes. That’s a great episode/story.

    I think Hound is the best of the novels, too. I love the gothic-y aspect. I love gothic stories and novels in general from that period.

    Yes, you have to watch The Greek Interpreter again! I love the changes they made to it. And it’s always a pleasure to see Mycroft.

    Ha! Yes, the little dancing men. That’s just a sad story. Every time I read it, I feel so sorry for Elsie, for how tortured she was by her secret, so much so that she couldn’t bear to tell her husband about it. Very sad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  11. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    The Basil Rathbone movies are good in their own way, but they bear zero resemblance to the stories and novels. I mean none. Watson is a blundering fool in them, too (also nothing like the novels). I don’t think he can be called Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I’ve always wondered how they even got away with calling him or the movies Sherlock Holmes.
     
  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Of course. Film producers will always be taking some degree of creative license, in attempt to make someone's story their own. Personally I don't mind over fictional material if the production is entertaining. However for much of anything historical, it irritates me to no end when producers alter history to their own liking- and film budget.
     
  13. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but there’s a big difference between taking some degree of creative license versus completely changing everything but still naming the finished product after the original story. Imagine making a Harry Potter movie, significantly reducing the IQ of his friends, completely changing the entire the story, and setting the new story 50+ years in the future. The only reason they’d call such a movie “Harry Potter” would be to use the success of the books to hook people in.

    I agree about changing history in movies. They should at least include a disclaimer at the beginning or end explaining that the movie is not historically accurate.
     
  14. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I want to hear from conan doyle about the edinburgh detective who is actually his muse ,jeremy brett was becoming increasingly damaged by taking lithium for bipolar disorder .