Wednesday, April 6, 2011

sherlock iii

One of the reasons that Sherlock moved up on my reading list is the recent Guy Ritchie movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, as the consulting detective and his chronicler/side-kick, John Watson. I vaguely recall the old black and white Sherlock movies--with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the late 30s and into the 40s--and I didn't recall much about drugs, boxing, lethargy, or slovenliness in these older movies, that now seemed to be rampant in this newer film.

It made me wonder why the modern movie had decided to diverge so much from the tone of these earlier movies, which portrayed Holmes as a sort of dandy, with fine clothes, a clean house, and a spotless conscience. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new movie actually returned the characters of Holmes and Watson to the way that they were originally conceived by Doyle, rather than the white-washed, pop-culture version I grew up with.

You can watch Basil and Nigel in Woman in Green free on the internets, right here chil'n. Its a little grimmer than I remember.

I'm in the process of pounding through some of John Watson's less than completely compelling--or 'singular' as Doyle may say--stories from the The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1894, and then comes The Return of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1903-4, followed by The Hound of the Baskervilles, originally published in 1902. Yeah, earlier! But which I already read (out of order, you may recall, in the last volume) so I'll be skipping this and moving on to The Valley of Fear.

I'm plagued.

I think something small and light is in order after this slog y'all.

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