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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
THE LEADING LADY & INCIDENT AT VICTORIA FALLSOct. 31 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
As you can see in the photo on this product page, the DVD cover states that these movies were digitally restored, so that is why I decided to buy this DVD set. I've seen earlier DVD releases and this video quality is actually better and the movies look nice on my HD TV.
This set does not contain subtitles or any DVD Extras. This package contains 1 DVD for each movie, and each movie is broken into 2 parts as was done when they were originally shown on US TV as a 2 part miniseries. All of the 4 parts are approximately 1 hour 32 minutes in length, meaning that the total run time of each movie is approximately 184 minutes.
The front cover of this DVD also implies that both movies are complete versions so they are presumably uncut in any way, but I don't know how to verify this because I've seen different run times given for cut and uncut versions. For instance, Madacy released these films separately on DVD in 2006 and gives slightly longer run times of 194 minutes, but I don't think that the video is digitally restored. Then in 2007 Madacy released this DVD package: Sherlock Holmes: Collector's Edition (Five-Disk Edition, Tin packaging)
These movies were filmed in 1991 and 1992, and Christopher Lee who plays Sherlock Holmes was 69-70 years old when they were filmed, so I want to make the point that we here have an older and slower version of Holmes rather than the typical younger character who is usually protrayed as being physically and mentally invulnerable. This Holmes feels his age and states that his powers are not as great as they used to be, and he is portrayed as being more human and fallible. Therefore viewers should be prepared to expect that difference. Some may not like this change but it is actually quite valid and appropriate for the portrayal of an elderly person. Patrick MacNee is the same age as Christopher Lee and nicely plays Dr. Watson in both movies.
SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE LEADING LADY: The story takes place in 1910, just 4 years before the outbreak of World War 1. A scientist in Vienna invents the first bomb that can be detonated from a distance by using a remote control. He gives the prototype and device plan to the British ambassador but these are quickly stolen from him by Bosnian terrorists. Several countries are after this device, and King Edward has Mycroft ask his brother Sherlock to take the case and retrieve both the prototype and the device plan. The plot is intricate because this is a story of international espionage and terrorists planning an assassination, and there are also sub-plots that relate to the whole.
Much of the story centers around the Vienna Opera House where Irene Adler (Morgan Fairchild) is singing, and her love for Holmes is kindled. The inventor of the remote controlled bomb is murdered at the Opera House during a rehearsal and Holmes twice asks Sigmund Freud to hypnotize Irene in hopes that she will be able to recall details she can't consciously remember. Terrorist schemes also center around the Vienna Opera House as they plan a political assassination. Engelbert Humperdinck plays a role as a singer who has a brief affair with the British ambassador's wife. There are also nice touches of humor in regard to a theatre critic who hates the music director.
Some have complained that the movie is too long but I personally don't think so because the sub-plots are interesting and paint a broader picture, the acting is well done so fans will enjoy watching their favorite players, and there are nice touches of humor in several places throughout the movie.
SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE LEADING LADY (1991): Director - Peter Sasdy Executive producer - Harry Alan Towers aka Peter Welbeck Writers - H.R.F. Keating, Bob Shayne
Sherlock Holmes - Christopher Lee Dr. Watson - Patrick MacNee Irene Adler - Morgan Fairchild Sigmund Freud - John Bennett Eberhardt Bohm - Engelbert Humperdinck Elliott Ness - Tom Lahm Sir Reginald Cholmondley - Ronald Hines Michael Simpson-Makepeace - Nicholas Gecks Lady Violet Cholmondley - Jenny Quayle Franz Winterhauser - Michael Siberry Captain Von Bork - Dominic Jephcott Dr. Froelich - Frank Middlemass Margarete Froelich - Charlotte Attenborough Franz Dietrich - James Bree Count Giddings - John Gower
INCIDENT AT VICTORIA FALLS: This story also takes place in 1910. King Edward VII asks Holmes to go to South Africa to ensure safe delivery to England of the Star of Africa, a priceless diamond sought after by many. Again, there are several sub-plots related to the whole. Holmes and Watson join a group of tourists, some of whom have other motives besides sight seeing. Appearances are deceptive and not everyone is who they claim to be, and this complicates things for Holmes. Along the way we meet famous actress Lily Langtree (Jenny Seagrove), the fictional Raffles, President Teddy Roosevelt (Claude Akins), and radio inventor Marconi. Again, I repeat what I said above because that statement also applies to this movie: some have complained that the movie is too long but I personally don't think so because the sub-plots are interesting and paint a broader picture, and the acting is well done.
INCIDENT AT VICTORIA FALLS (1992): Director - Bill Corcoran Writing credits (WGA) Gerry O'Hara - (story) Bob Shayne - (teleplay)
Cast (in credits order) Christopher Lee - Sherlock Holmes Patrick Macnee - Dr. John Watson Jenny Seagrove - Lillie Langtry Joss Ackland - King Edward Richard Todd - Lord Roberts Claude Akins - Theodore Roosevelt John Indi - Khumalo Steven Gurney - Gugliamo Marconi Sunitha Singh - Maharani Anthony Fridjohn- Constantine Mavropolis Claudia Udy - Amelia Roosevelt Morrison Neil McCarthy - Captain James Morrison Jay Pillay - Chandra Sen (as Pat Pillay) Dale Cutts - Superintendent Henry Van Meer Alan Coates - Stanley I. Bullard Margaret John - Mrs. Hudson Jerome Willis - Mycroft Holmes Kessie Govendor - Ram Dhulup Hywell Williams - Lord Milner Kenway Baker - Inspector Lestrade Sangeeta Jina - Uma Dhulup Dominic Makuwachuma - Themba (as Dominic Makuvachuma) Ron Smerczak - Lt. Grisholm (as Ron Smervzak) Michael Brunner - Colonel Thornbury Trevor Keeling - Hotel Manager Patrick Cadman - Telegrapher Stephen Chigorimbo - Waiter on Train (as Steve Chigorimbo) Jones Muguse - Chief Cook Anthony Fairclough - Officer Brian Cooper - Conductor Lawford Sutton - Price- Sergeant Fuller Michael Parker - Maitre D' Kala Jina - Neighbor Woman Taffy Chihota - Desk Clerk #1 (as Tafi Chiota) Andrew Whaley - Desk Clerk #2 Trevor Pugh - Connery Paul Tingay - Anglican Minister Brian McCurdy - Coachman
I'm happy to have these good quality video restorations on DVD and initially was hopeful that they are the original uncut versions, as statements on the cover would lead one to believe. I now have my doubts because these DVD movies are only 184 minutes in length, while the Madacy DVDs list slightly longer run times of 194 minutes. Also, some sources give 200 minutes run times, so I don't know what the true original uncut run times actually were.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"The Golden Years"Jan. 2 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Holmes has aged, graceful silver fox, and is planning to retire. The stalwart Dr Watson dons his bowler and pistol again, and the game is afoot! A worthy addition to the Canon. My husband and I enjoyed this over the Christmas holidays, and found this delightful! Do not draw conclusions before you have all the facts, friends, but what looks like a simple errand for the Crown over a jewel of dubious ownership, and train trips, and chance encounters with women of varied notoriety,add to the fine flavor of these stories. There are 2 discs in the package, and 2 episodes per disc;a good value. Pity this was never shown on US tv, but now, we can all be amazed by the astute deductions and the grand good time to be had. Lee is imposing and also displays some humor, and is an admirable Sherlock. McNee excells as Dr. Watson: not the Avenger, John Steed, we saw years ago, but a more mature companion who blends well with Lee. I was disappointed only in the character-type of Mycroft, being played by a much slimmer and shorter man than Homes; in my books, Mycroft was always large and imposing! The acting is good, it just seemed odd that Mycroft was shorter, but then again, Christopher Lee is over 6 feet tall, and Mycroft would have had to come in at 7 feet tall! This small point aside, it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
excellent upgradeMarch 4 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I have owned the tin packaged dvd's of these episodes since they first came out and I am happy to report that this newer release actually has been remastered and plays very nicely on a blu-ray player and a small screen, although they are not blu-ray. For once something really has been remastered, a nice surprise. Fans of Conan Doyle will probably not like this Sherlock, but fans of Christopher Lee and Patrick MacNee will probably enjoy the rapport that these two great actors have managed to create. I like to see an off-beat Sherlock once in a while (see Michael Caine in WITHOUT A CLUE). It makes a change. These very long and convuluted stories manage to interweave other real life celebrities, such as Theodore Roosevelt, and travel to interesting foreign locations, such as Africa and Luxembourg (standing in for Vienna). The plots wander around so much I defy you to explain them after seeing these episodes once, but that's part of the fun (and the humor). Very entertaining.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Odd Couple!June 2 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
These two miniseries are a bit lengthy. A standard feature-length format would have been fine. But Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee are delightful together. Their Holmes and Watson are considerably older than we're accustomed to...but they play it for all it's worth and it's thus worth a lot! The productions (with the exception of the music score for the second one, which is too much synthesizer and not enough real orchestra) are fine. I wish they had made more of these. The current SHERLOCK "series" on BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is quite entertaining...but is it worth the wait? And just how long might we expect these to go on? I'll be revisiting the Lee/Macnee films again and again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Worlds Greatest DetectiveMarch 25 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Long before forensic science, there was Sherlock Holmes. These films are from the early days of television and mini-series popularity. Christopher Lee is a terrific Holmes, the scripts are excellent, and the acting is much better than most you see today. No CGI to gum up the story, which allows your imagination to enhance the experience. Sherlock Holmes lovers, you'll enjoy this collection and so will your families.