Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More About Sherlock Holmes

   Rarely has a fictional character taken on such complete personality.  You want to know what he looked like?  Yep, Basil Rathbone was the best.  But the non-Doylelike lines he was given to utter somewhat spoil the image  '

   Holmes' roommate and frequent companion in his adventures was Dr. Watson.  Watson's first name is rarely mentioned...so rarely that Doyle himself forgot and give him a different name in some stories.  Holmes himself called Watson by his last name as in "Elementary, my Dear Watson."  Incidentally, that line never appears in any of the stories.

   Holmes has mastered the art of the non-clue in solving cases.  For instance he found Silver Blaze, a missing racehorse by using "The remarkable behavior of he dog in the night time."

   "But the dog did nothing," points out Watson.

   "That was the remarkable behavior," answers Holmes.  He surmised the dog should have barked but didn't... indicating that the dog knew the intruder and leading Holmes to the solution.

   Watson was nothing like the obtuse character portrayed by Nigel Bruce. He wasn't dull or dumb.  He just couldn't keep up with Sherlock...who could? Strangely in the many version of Sherlock Holmes tales in movies if the portrayal of Homes is good, the portrayal of Watson is poor, and vice versa. In very few are both true to the original stories.  A recent PBS series had good versions of both Watson and Holmes, but then... put Holmes' words in Watson's mouth and even worse, had Holes saying things that Watson had said in the original tale.

   But they couldn't fool me...I knew my Doyle, and I knew who actually said what.


bamawmn46 said...

When I was much younger, I  read many of the Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as many of the Agatha Christie novels.  Nigel Bruce had the same type of personality in many of the movies he acted in. I've oftten wondered if it was a his method, or expected...


jeadie05 said...

I have seen the house qwhere the sorys were written from ...love Jan xx

jmorancoyle said...

    I had a very hard time reading Sherlock Holmes without Basil Rathbone's voice in my head. Or Nigel Bruce's. I haven't seen many movies that truly followed the book. I usually see the movie first, because I get so angry when I read the book and then see how badly it was butchered on screen. The only one movie I can think of that really followed the book is Hunt for Red October. I loved the movie, but I had to put the book down later because it was so close to the movie, it bored me. Now how's that for a weird complaint?