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  • Seven Per Cent Solution [VHS]
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Seven Per Cent Solution [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Duvall, Nicol Williamson, Laurence Olivier
  • Directors: Herbert Ross
  • Writers: Arthur Conan Doyle, Nicholas Meyer
  • Producers: Herbert Ross, Alex Winitsky, Arlene Sellers, Stanley O'Toole
  • Format: Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: April 30, 1996
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630018174X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,661 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Writer Nicholas Meyer (who went on to write two of the best Star Trek films) made his bones with his adaptation of his bestselling novel, directed by Herbert Ross. Fanciful and entertaining, it imagines what might have happened had Dr. Watson (Robert Duvall) convinced Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) to seek a cure for his cocaine addiction from Dr. Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin). This meeting of the minds takes a turn into adventure when Holmes and Freud team up to solve a kidnapping mystery. Arkin is intriguingly likable as Freud, while Williamson makes a keen and frenetic Holmes. Duvall is almost unrecognizable as the avuncular, phlegmatic Watson. Laurence Olivier turns up as Professor Moriarty, who is hardly the criminal mastermind that the drug-deluded Holmes believes. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
35
4 star
19
3 star
7
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See all 61 customer reviews
Nicol Williamson and Robert Duvall are just wonderful as Holmes and Watson, respectively.
Mr. Z.
Some viewers may object that Freud finds out about Sherlock's past under hypnosis, but orders Sherlock to forget what he revealed.
Israel Drazin
Great story, well done period piece, wonderful train chase, very good acting and a very creative answer to whom is Moriarity.
Dan Corkery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laddie on February 5, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reviews here can be confusing as they probably apply to other DVD versions of the film. This new on demand edition is in fact letterboxed and looks like the correct aspect ratio. Image quality may not be Criterion level but is very good, and given that this very enjoyable movie has been hard to get for years we are not complaining.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Doctor John on February 14, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Fantastic film, and even more fantastic transfer to Blu-ray. Never saw the film before, nor the SD DVD edition; bought it on a whim after seeing the actors in it. Extraordinarily good acting, high production values, far above average BD transfer.

NOW, if "they" would only release a comparably good BD of "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970, MGM/UA) - it would be perfection for Baker Street Irregulars!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By VideoBob on March 3, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
After many years of only the Americanized 4:3 version on VHS and very, very short supply of a few DVDs, THIS Blu-ray release finally puts an end to the unbelievable mistake of not producing this movie in it's original screen display format. It was not shot in full cinematic widescreen but is very close to our typical 16:9 TVs. Two years ago the VHS versions of this movie had become so scarce that some were offered on auction sites for up to $125.00 each. In Britain, the original format DVD was available in PAL. There were many bad pirate versions out there. This Bluray offering includes the film in it's original screen format on one DVD disc and on one Blu-ray disc. The movie is fascinating because it is based on a best-selling novel that.. while entertaining some wild extrapalatorical plot devices, stays truer to most of Doyles character development than the typical Sherlock Holmes screenplays. Alan Arkin cast as Freud is one of the greatest castings of all time. Duvall's Watson is the weekest link in the production, but is aging well due to his fidelity to "the limp." This is Vanessa Redgrave's finest part ever (she is more radiant than her Isadora). While Sir Olivier had only a small roll as Prof. Moriarty, he aced it (as you would expect). The one bonus feature is a dusey, where the author of the book explains his work and total surprise at it's massive acceptance. Some rather inexperienced reviewers have compared this film to "Sherlock Holmes" movies but the film can only really be described as the best possible, ever Holmes derivative book and film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
Conan Doyle knew nothing about this tale, which was invented whole-cloth by a modern writer. The story has two plots. It is 1891. Sherlock Holmes has become deranged by his constant overuse of cocaine, which he injects into himself, seven percent cocaine and ninety-three percent water. Holmes is convinced that Professor Moriarty, his and his brother Mycroft's math teacher when they were children, is the master criminal behind all the crimes in London, and that the professor is trying to kill him. Dr. Watson, his loyal friend, seeks Holmes' brother's help and the two decide to lure Sherlock to Venice where he could be treated and cured by Dr. Sigmund Freud. Their scheme is successful and Freud is able to get Sherlock to stop using the drug.

While in Venice, Sherlock becomes involved in one of Freud's cases. A beautiful red-headed woman also had a drug overuse problem and was treated by Freud. After being cured, she was abducted and given drugs to make her pliant. Sherlock and Sigmund work together, both drawing brilliant conclusions, in unraveling the mystery. This second plot ends in a long chase and fights.

The film has suspense and humor and is interesting. The end of the film discloses the modern writer's view of why Watson said that Holmes was killed by Moriarty, disappeared for three years, became addicted to the seven percent solution, hated Moriarty, and usually disliked women. Some viewers may object that Freud finds out about Sherlock's past under hypnosis, but orders Sherlock to forget what he revealed. They may argue that they would expect Freud to tell Sherlock to remember his past and help him deal with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2012
Format: DVD
Finally receiving a Blu-ray release courtesy of Shout! Factory, "The Seven Percent Solution" mixes the fictional with the historical for a fascinating glimpse into what made Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes click.

The Blu-ray transfer looks exceptional with a nice, color accurate presentation of the film. Colors aren't saturated as that wasn't the look that director Herbert Ross was going for with solid looking skin tones. Blacks are solid throughout as well not suffering from the crush evident in the early DVD release. The film boasts a fairly clean, sleek presentation that doesn't rely too heavily on digital noise reduction and, as a result, the textures are solid throughout as well.

The Blu-ray does include an interview with author and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer discussing the genesis of the novel and the film. It's a very good interview giving us his thoughts on the project. I would imagine that we don't get a commentary track because Meyer wasn't interested in sitting down to view the whole film without the input from the late Herbert Ross and late Nicole Williamson.

I'm hoping that Shout will also tackle the cult classic "They Might Be Giants" starring George C. Scott as an eccentric wealthy man who believes he IS Holmes, while the doctor evaluating him is named Watson (I'm sure the creator of "Elementary" probably got his idea for this as it takes place in contemporary New York as well).

The Blu-ray is recommended.
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