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Sherlock Holmes Vol 2

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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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, HiFi Sound, 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: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005NFYI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,559 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

In "The Crooked Man," Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) fetches Dr. John Watson (David Burke) on an urgent mission: Colonel James Barclay (Denys Hawthorne) has been found dead in his home, with his comatose wife (Lisa Daniely) beside him. While Holmes and Watson work to clear the widow's name of any suspicion, a weird, badly stooped man (Norman Jones) holds onto the secret of the Barclays' misfortune. This episode in the long-running Granada Television series is a fascinating puzzle all around, highlighted by a long flashback into a grim tale of treachery and revenge.

One of the strongest entries in the series, "The Speckled Band" finds distraught Helen Stoner (Rosalyn Landor) coming to Holmes and Watson in fear for her life since announcing her betrothal. The reason: Helen's sister Julia (Denise Armon) died mysteriously and in apparent terror in her bedroom on the night before her own wedding, and her final words were a strange reference to a "speckled band." This episode has it all: a damsel in distress, a considerable villain, lots of suspense, and a solution worth waiting for. Brett and Burke are at the top of their game as Doyle's dynamic duo; this story was, in fact, Doyle's personal favorite from the Holmes canon. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Sept. 28 2001
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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This, the second volume of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes the television series, is a welcome addition to the shelves of DVD sellers.
As the number of television shows increases at very high rates it is comforting to know that shows such as this as preserved for posterity on DVD.
AS the number of DVDs increases now that DVD player ownership has expanded to cover over 25% of US households and the number is poised to double by the end of the 2002 holiday season, the range of quality and reproduction of DVDs is also growing.
This does mean that less profitable ventures such as the Sherlock Holmes series seem doomed to limited treatments during transfer rather than get the full scale upgrading purists would prefer. For myself I would certainly prefer more but I am happy to be able to own these DVDs and watch them repeatedly.
Jeremy Brett, throught his years of portraying Holmes certainly carved out his reputation as being the ultimate Holmes. In these two early episodes one sees the stirrings of a determination by the actor to make the character his own.
There are so many aspects to these shows that it is difficult to know where to start. One of the reasons why the show developed it's avid following in my view is the attention paid to the original stories not only in the detail of portrayal but in observing the spirit of them. David Burke does excellent service in portraying Watson as an intelligent though somewhat limited colleague and pupil of the genius master and an individual in his own right who tries not to be overshadowed. This is a welcome rebuttal to the image of Watson as the buffoon who graced our screens for many years.
The two stories contained in this volume, Crooked Man and Speckled Band are both concerned with familial killings.
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If you read my review of the first edition of this DVD series, you would know I consider Jeremy Brett's Holmes to be superior to all other interpretations. If you didn't, now you do! After reviewing the DVD I read a review which itemized several technical flaws which I have since noted myself. This disc is no exception, as it includes one quite obvious flaw wherein Brett's face seems to spasm or jiggle unintentionally.
Lord knows why this series hasn't garnered more attention, but if it had I can guarantee a bit more money and time would have been spent on the DVD's. The content is the most critical element (especially since there are NO special features save a few biographical screens) and again, it never fails to entertain.
The Crooked Man is a rather heart-wrenching episode, showing the cruel machinations of an ambitious soldier and their deadly consequences. Although many episodes of this program are quite funny thanks to Brett's intensely mannered performance, this one relied on emotional content and dramatic irony to keep the viewer engaged. The Speckled Band was the first episode I was lucky enough to see when my mother introduced me to the series, and it too tells a striking and tragic story.

Both episodes are generally humorless but continued the tradition of simple, loyal reproduction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales. Brett is always fantastic and will be missed. (If you are like me, and you usually find something Holmes does or says very funny in each episode, listen for the British military jargon in The Crooked Man. It sounds as strange and silly to me as US army terminology must sound to them.)
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