I’ve been watching a lot of Law & Order: Criminal Intent lately. Detective Goren, played by the brilliantly talented Vincent D’Onfrio, utilizes his intellect and his heightened deductive skills to solve New York’s most heinous crimes. One of the primary influences in the creation of Detective Goren’s character was another fictional character: Sherlock Holmes.
Most people know who Sherlock Holmes is. Whether they have heard him referenced in a flippant retort (“No sh*t, Sherlock!”), or have seen the latest incarnation of the famous detective as played by Robert Downey, Jr., Holmes is an icon of literature, television, and film.
Decades after he was immortalized in print by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes began his journey to the silver screen with the help of Basil Rathbone who would play the clever sleuth in over a dozen films.
Beginning in 1939 with The Hound of the Baskervilles, and ending his run as Holmes in 1946 with Dressed to Kill, Rathbone proved himself as a solid and reliable talent that audiences would for decades always identify with his role as the legendary detective.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection is a testament to that fact, and the fourteen films included in this amazing collection show just how amazing a detective Holmes was and how great Basil Rathbone was at portraying him.
The Blu-ray version of the Collection looks and sounds amazing; all but two of the films have been restored through the auspices of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Along with the quality of each film being superb, the Archive has also returned the original elements to each film, most of which were edited out in the 1950s. These elements include war bond tags and the original Universal Pictures logos. These are truly fantastic pieces of cinema history.
There’s a lot to enjoy here, and plenty of great special features as well. These include: Six audio commentaries (including an all new Dressed to Kill commentary with actress Patricia Morrison; an interview with Robert Gitt, Preservation Officer at the UCLA Film & Television Archive; footage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; photo galleries; and theatrical trailers.
This is a superb and fantastic collection of films that are incredibly enjoyable and utterly timeless. While Holmes may be a character from the past, his legend and influence will continue to live on; and his immortalization on Blu-ray makes that a very elementary fact.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection is available March 29, 2011 on Blu-ray and DVD!
What’s your favorite Sherlock Holmes case? Leave a comment and let us know!
Check out my reviews of Sherlock Holmes in Washington & Sherlock Holmes Faces Death.