The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

Synopsis: Concerned about his friend's cocaine use, Dr. Watson tricks Sherlock Holmes into travelling to Vienna, where Holmes enters the care of Sigmund Freud. Freud attemts to solve the mysteries of Holmes' subconscious, while Holmes devotes himself to solving a mystery involving the kidnapping of Lola Deveraux.
Director(s): Herbert Ross
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min

It was October 24 in the year 1891,

that I heard for the first time

in four months

from my friend Sherlock Holmes.

On this particular day, a telegram

from his landlady, Miss Hudson,

had been delivered to my surgery,

imploring me to return

to my former rooms without delay.

Oh, Dr. Watson,

thank heavens you've come!

I'm at my wits' end!

Why? What has happened?

Since you left us,

these last few months,

he's been very strange.

He's barricaded himself up there,

he won't take his food,

he keeps the oddest of hours.

I think he's taking...

Mrs. Hudson! I know there's someone

down there with you!

I heard the cab stop before the door.

- He keeps babbling on about some...

- Mrs. Hudson!

If that gentleman answer

to the name Moriarty,

you may show him up

and I will deal with him!

- I better go to him.

- Oh, be careful!


was a name

I'd only known him to mutter

when in the thrall

of one of his cocaine injections.

- Is that you, Moriarty?

- It is I, Watson.


You see it is I.

- Holmes, let me enter.

- Not so fast.

You may be Moriarty in disguise.

- Prove you are Watson.

- How on Earth am I to do that?

Tell me where I keep my tobacco.


Well, as a rule, it's in the toe

of your Persian slipper.


Very well.

I'm satisfied.

I assure you, my dear fellow,

my plight is quite genuine.

What is it?

Have you ever heard

of Professor Moriarty?

You have! You must have!

I can see it in your face!

Holmes, I assure you...

Very well... very well.

But you see how it adds

to the genius of the thing!

That man pervades London,

the western world, even,

and no one has ever heard of him!

That man is my nemesis, Watson.

My evil genius.


Thank you, yes.

Sit down, my dear fellow, sit down.

How have you been otherwise, Holmes?

Never better.

It's almost spring,

have you noticed?

With all this rain and fog,

you'd never think it.

For years past, Watson,

I've been continually conscious

of some power behind the malefactor.

Some deep, organizing power

which guides and inspires

crimes of the most varying sort...

Here you are.

Thank you very much.

Yes, it is rather wet weather.

I was saying it yesterday to Mary...

He's the Napoleon of crime, Watson!

He's the organizer

of half that is evil

and nearly all that's undetected

in this great city,

in the annual of contemporary crime.

You see, he's a genius.

He's a philosopher.

An abstract thinker.

He sits, motionless like a spider

in the center of his web.

But that web has a thousand radiations.

And he knows well

each and every quiver of them.

Oh, his agent may be caught,

but he...

He is never so much as suspected!

Until now, that is.

Until I...

his archenemy...

managed to deduce his existence

and penetrate his perimeters.

And now, his minions,

having discovered my success,

are on my track.

On my... on my track...

they are on my track!

But, Holmes,

What do you propose to do?


Well, for the moment

I think I shall nap.


It would cast an unworthy shadow

on a great man's memory,

for me to detail what effects

this horrible drug

had produced upon his faculties.

I returned home grappling with

Holmes' fantasies concerning Moriarty

when I discovered a gentleman

answering to that name

in my consulting room.

Oh! You startled me.

Dr. Watson, is it?

Professor Moriarty.

To what do I owe the honor

of this late visit?

Oh, I apologize for the hour,

but I wish to be discreet.

My business is urgent.

- Here...

- Thank you.

I... I come to you sir,

because I know

from your published accounts

that you are Mr. Sherlock Holmes'

most intimate acquaintance.

I enjoy that distinction, yes.

Then perhaps you could help me

to avert a scandal.


Your friend is...


persecuting me

is the only way I can put it.

Persecuting you?

I don't know how else to say it.

He follows me about London,

dogs my steps,

waits for me

outside the Roylot School.

I... I'm a teacher in mathematics.

And- Oh, yes!

And he... he sends me these.

"Moriarty, your days are numbered".

That sort of thing.

Doctor, Mr. Holmes is convinced

that I am some sort of...

criminal mastermind

of the most depraved order.

Oh, I know he is a great

and a good man.

All England resounds with his praise.

But in my case,

he fosters a ghastly illusion,

and I've come to you as his friend,

rather than turning the matter

over to my solicitor.

No, no, no,

that'll not be necessary.

My friend is not in health, that is all.

You see, had you known him

when he was in full possession

of his faculties...

Oh, but I did.

- But how?

- I knew both the boys,

Sherlock and his brother Mycroft.

I was their tutor

at Squire Holmes' state in Sussex.

Brilliant lads they were!

Oh, the Holmes brothers.

I should've liked to go on, but...

then came... the tragedy.


What tragedy?

You mean you...

you don't know?

I assure you Holmes has never spoken

of his family or his early life.

I've met his brother, of course.

He lives at his club in Pall Mall.

Oh well, if Master Sherlock

hasn't told you,

then I fail to be- see that I

should be the one to divulge...

- Professor...

- Oh, no, no, no!

I cannot, will not be indiscreet

in this matter.

I only came to you because...

I needed so badly your help

to end this most embarrassing thing.

Good evening, Doctor.

My dear John, what is to be done?

Only one thing, Mary...

Thank you, Jenny.

Holmes, must be weaned

of his cocaine addiction.

There is only one man in Europe

who is in a position to help us.

A doctor in Vienna,

he wrote this article in The Lancet.

I've cabled him regarding Holmes.

He's replied to my cable,

and he agrees to help,

provided we can get him to Vienna.


He will never go there.

You know he does not like

to leave London.

He says it generates an unhealthy

excitement in the criminal classes

- when they learn he's abroad.

- True.

But, we shall provide him

with an incentive he can't resist.

A false trail convincing him that

Moriarty has fled to the continent.

I know how Holmes thinks, you see.

I've sorted it all out.

Of course you have.

Would you please tell Mr. Holmes

to be silent?

I did not know Mycroft Holmes well.

I remember being astonished

when, after seven years,

Holmes informed me of his existence.

Beyond the fact that both brothers

were brilliant, however,

the similarity ended.

Mycroft Holmes preferred to live out

an eccentric bachelorhood

circumscribed by the walls

of his club,

beyond whose confines

he was rarely known to venture.

Dr. Watson, is it?

Indeed I am, sir.

I have not seen you

since that unhappy affair

of the Greek interpreter.

Mr. Holmes.

Tell me, what urgent business

have you that concerns my brother?

What's happened to him?

How do you know

anything has happened to him?

I've not seen you these three years,

and then it was in the company

of Sherlock,

whose doings I know you chronicle.

Suddenly you pay me a visit at a time

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Nicholas Meyer

Nicholas Meyer (born December 24, 1945) is an American writer and director, known for his best-selling novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and for directing the films Time After Time, two of the Star Trek feature film series, and the 1983 television movie The Day After. Meyer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), where he adapted his own novel into a screenplay. He has also been nominated for a Satellite Award, three Emmy Awards, and has won four Saturn Awards. He appeared as himself during the 2017 On Cinema spinoff series The Trial, during which he testified about Star Trek and San Francisco. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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