The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Synopsis: Director Billy Wilder adds a new and intriguing twist to the personality of intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes. One thing hasn't changed however: Holmes' crime-solving talents. Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments. Can the sleuths make sense of all this and solve the mystery?
Director(s): Billy Wilder
Production: MGM
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Somewhere in the vaults

of a bank in London...

is a tin dispatch box

with my name on it.

lt is not to be opened

until 50 years after my death.

lt contains certain mementos...

of my long association

with a man...

who elevated the science

of deduction to an art--

the world's first,

and, undeniably...

most famous consulting


To my heirs--

ln my lifetime...

l have recorded

some sixty cases...

demonstrating the singular gift

of my friend...

Sherlock Holmes...

dealing with everything...

from ''The Hound

of the Baskervilles''...

to his mysterious

brother Mycroft...

and the devilish

Professor Moriarty.

But there were

other adventures which...

for reasons of discretion...

l have decided to withhold

from the public...

until this much later date.

They involve matters of

a delicate and, sometimes...

scandalous nature...

as will shortly

become apparent.

lt was August of 1887...

and we were returning

from Yorkshire...

where Holmes had solved

the baffling murder...

of Admiral Abernetti.

You may recall that he broke

the murderer's alibi...

by measuring the depth

to which the parsley...

had sunk in the butter

on a hot day.

l wish you'd give me

a bit more warning...

when you come home unexpected.

l'd have roasted a goose,

had a few flowers for you.

My dear Mrs. Hudson...

criminals are as

unpredictable as head colds.

You never quite know when

you're going to catch one.

l'll unpack your bags.

Here's an advance copy

of ''Strand Magazine.''

They've printed

''The Red-headed League.''

Very impressive.

Would you like to see

how l've treated it?

l can hardly wait.

l'm sure l shall find out...

all sorts

of fascinating things...

about the case

that l never knew before.

Just what do you mean by that?

Oh, come now, Watson.

You must admit you have

a tendency to overromanticize.

You've taken my simple

exercises in logic...

and embellished them,

embroidered them...

exaggerated them.

l deny the accusation.

You've described me as 6'4''...

whereas l am barely 6'1''.

A bit of poetic license.

You've saddled me with

this improbable costume...

which the public

now expects me to wear.

That is not my doing.

Blame it on the illustrator.

Made me out to be

a violin virtuoso.

There's an invitation...

from the Liverpool Symphony

to appear as soloist...

in ''The Mendelssohn Concerto.''


The fact is, l could

barely hold my own...

in the pit orchestra

of a second-rate music hall.

You're much too modest.

You have given the reader

the distinct impression...

that l'm a misogynist.


l don't dislike women.

l merely distrust them.

The twinkle in the eye

and the arsenic in the soup.

lt's those little touches

that make you colorful.

Lurid is more like it.

You've painted me

as a hopeless dope addict...

just because l occasionally

take a 5%% solution of cocaine.

A seven percent solution.

Five percent.

Don't you think l'm aware

you've been diluting it...

behind my back?

As a doctor,

as well as your friend...

l strongly disapprove...

of this insidious habit

of yours.

My dear friend,

as well as my dear doctor...

l only resort to narcotics...

when l'm suffering

from acute boredom...

when there are

no interesting cases...

to engage my mind.

Look at this.

An urgent appeal to find

some missing midgets.

Did you say midgets?

Mmm, six of them.

The Tumbling Piccolos...

an acrobatic act

with some circus.

Disappeared between

London and Bristol.

Well, don't you

find that intriguing?

Extremely so.

You see, they're

not only midgets...

but also anarchists.


By now they have been

smuggled to Vienna...

dressed as little girls

in organdy pinafores.

They are to greet

the czar of all the Russias...

when he arrives

at the railway station.

They will be carrying

bouquets of flowers...

and concealed

in each bouquet...

will be a bomb

with a lit fuse.

You really think so?

Not at all.

The circus owner offers me

five pounds for my services.

That's not even

a pound a midget.

So, obviously,

he's a stingy blighter...

and the little chaps

simply ran off...

to join another circus.

lt sounded so promising.

There are no great crimes

anymore, Watson.

The criminal class

has lost all enterprise...

and originality.

At best, they commit

some bungling villainy...

with a motive so transparent...

that even a Scotland Yard

official could see through it.

Mrs. Hudson!

Yes? What is it?

What have l done now?

There is something missing

from my desk.


Something very crucial.



You've been tidying up

against my explicit orders.

Oh, look, l made sure

l hadn't disturbed anything.

Dust, Mrs. Hudson,

is an essential part...

of my filing system.

By the thickness of it...

l can date any document


Well, some of the dust

was this thick.

That would be...

March 1883.

Oh! How can you stand this?

Why don't you let me

air the room out?

Please, Mrs. Hudson,

he's working on...

a definitive study

of tobacco ash.

Oh, l'm sure there's

a crying need for that.

ln our endeavors,

it is sometimes vital...

to distinguish

between, say, the ashes...

of a Macedonian cigarette

and a Jamaican cigar.

So far he has classified

140 different kinds of ashes.

All of which will

wind up on my rug.

That will be enough,

Mrs. Hudson.

All right...

if you gentlemen want

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Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was a prolific writer; his non-Sherlockian works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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