Sherlock Holmes (1964–1968)
6.8/10
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A Study in Scarlet 

When a man is found poisoned in an abandoned building with the word "RACHE" written in blood on the wall. LaStrade confidently declares, "Cherchez la femme!"

Director:

Henri Safran

Writers:

Arthur Conan Doyle (characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Hugh Leonard (dramatisation)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Stock ... Dr. Watson
Joe Melia ... Joey Daly
George A. Cooper ... Inspector Gregson
William Lucas ... Inspector Lestrade
Edina Ronay ... Alice Charpentier
Larry Cross ... Jefferson Hope
Craig Hunter ... Enoch J. Drebber
Dorothy Edwards ... Madame Charpentier
Larry Dann ... Arthur Charpentier
Ed Bishop ... Joseph Stangerson (as Edward Bishop)
Michael Segal ... Police Constable Rance
Henry Kay ... Commissionaire
Grace Arnold ... Mrs. Hudson
Tony McLaren ... Wiggins

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Storyline

A corpse is found in an empty house with the word 'Rache' scrawled on the wall next to it. The police arrest a suspect but then a similar murder occurs, proving that they have the wrong man. In exposing the real killer Holmes uncovers a feud stretching back to Salt Lake City and the Mormon community. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The basic plot of this episode resembles that of the original novel, regarding the murders and Holmes's investigation. However, there is absolutely no reference to Holmes and Watson having met for the first time. The opening of the novel covers the introduction of the two characters after Watson has been de-mobbed from the army. See more »

Goofs

Just before the opening titles start. the corpse can be seen breathing. See more »

Quotes

Jefferson Hope: [to Drebber] Let us see if there is justice on earth or we are ruled by chance.
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User Reviews

 
A study in editing
23 November 2009 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

Though it is the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, "A Study in Scarlet" is rarely adapted for production due to structural issues that make this difficult. Th BBC took on the challenge during its 1968 series of broadcasts with Peter Cushing as Holmes, and placed the story in between other Holmes mysteries in in the series rather than at the beginning. As such, the material dealing with the first meeting of Holmes and Watson can be discarded, although, oddly enough and perhaps as a remnant, Watson is still doubtful that Holmes can really make sweeping deductions from small details, and Holmes seems a little surprised that Watson is making notes on the case.

As "A Study in Scarlet" was a novel-length piece of writing with long sections set in Utah without Holmes, and this is a forty-eight minute program, cuts were necessary. The way they were done is workable and clever, with an opening sequence involving the victims that gives away a hint of backstory followed by the Holmes investigation, but it tends to turn the mystery, until the last few minutes arrives, into simple a puzzle without much human interest. Unusually for a 1968-era BBC production, scenes are very quick -- accommodating all the material that must be fit in -- and they left me wishing the pace could be more deliberate.

When the end does arrive, though, it is very impressive, with Larry Cross giving an excellent and very sympathetic performance as Jefferson Hope, and a well-conceived and effective final shot. Unfortunately among the other actors performances tend towards the wooden, and the American accents are very variable. Nigel Stock is a fine actor but an unnecessarily dim-witted Watson (for instance, hiding his gun behind an awkwardly upheld newspaper), and not even a charmingly and amusingly dim-witted one in the Nigel Bruce mold. Peter Cushing is very competent as an impatient, twitchy Sherlock Holmes, but some reason he doesn't come off as anything more than adequate and slightly superficial in this role for me. I liked what I have seen of his BBC predecessor Douglas Wilmer better.

In all, a competent and workmanlike adaptation that doesn't really come alive until after the murderer is discovered.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1968 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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