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Sherlock Holmes Vol 3


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Rosalie Williams, Eric Porter
  • Writers: John Hawkesworth
  • Producers: John Hawkesworth
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Phase 4
  • Release Date: June 1 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O5CQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,139 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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One of the most popular of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, "The Blue Carbuncle" is given exciting treatment in this Granada Television adaptation, featuring Jeremy Brett and David Burke in definitive performances as the famous detective and his ally and chronicler, Dr. Watson. The story concerns the disappearance of a gem called the Blue Carbuncle, which is linked to a terrible history of murders, suicides, attacks, and robberies. The jewel's trail leads Holmes all over wintry London and to a decision that stuns Watson in its legal and ethical implications. Tightly woven and cleverly adapted from the page, "The Blue Carbuncle" is a worthy telling of a classic tale.

Just as Holmes is lamenting the state of his investigation practice, a letter arrives from a Violet Hunter (Natasha Richardson), who seeks advice on whether to accept a position as governess at the Copper Beeches, the home of a genuine oddball named Jephro Rucastle (Joss Ackland) and his equally strange family. This fine adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's clever mystery "The Copper Beeches" is absolutely engrossing, and as usual Brett's performance as the famed detective is flawless and true to Doyle's original vision. Burke does his typically stellar work as Watson, and the addition of one great veteran (Ackland) and one talented then-newcomer (Richardson) to the cast is a real treat. --Tom Keogh


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These early shows from Jeremy Brett's career of portrayal of the famous detective are such a joy to behold.
One of the most endearing characteristics of these shows has been the attention which has been paid to keeping the story as close as possible to the original Conan Doyle story. To that extent, these particular productions are the ultimate in depiction of Sherlock Holmes and one cannot see how anyone would even attempt to remake them with another actor in the major role.
Brett always threw himself into Holmes, playing him with such zeal, style and panache. In these two stories he very much continues to play the character straight as it were acting out the story true to the word. True to his interpretation to the spirit would come later.
David Burke offers an intelligent interpretation of Watson, trying to throw off the categorisation of Watson as a well meaning buffoon which resulted from the Rathbone years.
As others have pointed out these are two great stories, the second notable for the actors involved. From my point of view the attention to detail is marvellous, in the settings and furnishings. Unlike Poirot however, these stories do not tire with the background. The Victorians were much more adventuresome in the extent of their cultural choices than the society portrayed in Agatha Christie's novels.
This is one set that belongs in a DVD library of good detective dramas together with that other beautifully produced series, 'Inspector Morse'.
Ten out of Five.
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Jeremy Brett is the best Sherlock Holmes for my money. With his aquiline features, nervous ticks, abrupt action & words, with just the appropriate dose of arrogance, he's the Sherlock of the high-strung disposition I remember reading about. The British Granada TV series presented these stories with great fidelity to the material, good production values, and appearances by some of the best of British actors: some familiar, some just getting started.
The Blue Carbuncle is a tale of a stolen gem with a long history of violence behind it. The mystery is okay, but the highlight is Holmes challenging Watson & then analyzing a left-behind hat and deducing a dozen things about the owner from it, to Watson's chagrine.
The Copper Beeches cast is made up of Joss Auklund, familiar to many in the US, and introduces a very young Natasha Redgrave (to British TV audiences). The chief interest is in Holmes' at first dismissive attitude toward Redgrave, and then upon discovery that she is alone in the world, his care and concern for her (against his normal misogynist tendencies) and his growing regard for her intelligence & courage.
Ably backed by David Burke as an intelligent and capable Watson (no bumbling Nigel Bruce type), these adventures are all of fine quality, only varying due to the strengths or weaknesses of the stories told.
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Our Well Studied and Deliberately Executed Holmes:
In reviewing this DVD, I'm actually examining the actor's performance as the character in the entire series, rather than those encapsulated within the specific titles. I have seen these episodes, and could do a separate review of each, but I think in this case that would actually be inappropriate. I can say, however, that these episodes are very good, and represent this outstanding series very well. The DVD itself is also of very high quality, as far as sound and picture are concerned. Granada did a first rate job, that has translated itself very handily to the new format.
Jeremy Brett's Holmes is something other than the various Holmes' we've been exposed to in the past. I was raised on Rathbone. But when I saw Brett's performances when they first aired on PBS, I slowly forgot Rathbone's influences. Brett immerses himself in such a way that must make it very personal to him, then displays the character of Holmes in a forceful and deliberate manner - and in a depth we may not see again.
The key thing to understanding Holmes, I think, is that he is unique as a genius as any genius would be. Exercising his talents to there fullest doesn't give him super-status as an overall human being by erasing other flaws. Instead, his talent takes precedence, accentuating his human flaws by casting them into a state of neglect that highlights them. Brett understands this, clearly because he himself is either a bona fide genius, or he has somehow deciphered the code that generates a genius' idiosyncratic behaviors. I can't say which. I can say that I really believe his Holmes. Brett may as well BE Holmes.
My second favorite aspect of Brett's Holmes is the level of humor.
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The third of MPI's SHERLOCK HOLMES DVDs features two perfectly amiable, if not stellar, episodes from the series' first season. Of the two, "The Blue Carbuncle" is marginally more enjoyable: the Christmas cheer lends the episode a certain charm. Unfortunately, the guest stars are rather weak. "The Copper Beeches" is an adequate, largely faithful adaptation, with a suitably creepy turn by the villain.
As I rewatch this series, which I first saw while I was a teenager, I find that of the two stars, David Burke leaves a more lasting impression than Jeremy Brett. Partly, this is because Burke's Watson is designedly "revisionist" in a way that Brett's Holmes is not. But it is also because Burke goes at his role with considerably more gusto: there is a real vitality in his performance missing from Brett's.
In terms of technical quality, this DVD improves somewhat on earlier offerings. There was some visual wobbling and at least one total blackout (in "The Blue Carbuncle"). The audio was markedly better, although still a bit too quiet.
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