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on September 5, 2000
As an avid reader of the stories of Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this movie exceeded my expectations. The screenplay, although somewhat modified from the original novel, was a fine adaptation to the TV film medium. The characters were both real and well acted by this international cast. I especially enjoyed the portrayals of Shelock Holmes and Dr. John Watson by Actors Heston and Johnson respectively. This movie is a must see for all fans of Sherlock Holmes.
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on May 2, 2010
Being a Sherlock Holmes fan, I saw "The Crucifer of Blood" when it opened on Broadway during the 1980s. I remember thinking that it was enjoyable although nothing great. I later read that Charlton Heston was starring in the play in Los Angeles and thought how much I would have liked to see him play Holmes. Well I got my chance when this made-for-tv version was produced for TNT. This film was produced, written and directed by Heston's son Fraser. I remember thinking it was okay when I originally saw it on tv and my opinion hasn't changed after seeing it on dvd last night.
The plot is basically a rerun of Conan Doyle's "The Sign of the Four." Even though it was filmed in London and has some decent sets and large amounts of fog rolled in, this is obviously not a big budget production. Heston is basically miscast as Holmes. However he was such a fine actor and a great American that I really didn't mind. Richard Johnson is terrible as Watson, back to portraying the good doctor as a pathetic buffoon, falling madly in love with and making goo-goo eyes at a young woman half his age, after knowing her for about an hour. (It was so wonderful not to see Watson portrayed as a fool in the Grenada Sherlock Holmes films with Jeremy Brett, the greatest Sherlock Holmes ever.) The actor who portrays Inspector Lestrade portrays him as a low-grade moron. (Holmes even refers to him as "comic relief.")Edward Fox and John Fraser overact outrageously as the two main victims of the curse. The one true bright spot is an actress named Susannah Harker as the femme-fatale of the plot (and Watson's budding love interest.) She is very good (and looks quite fetching at the conclusion.) I'm not sure if I have seen her in anything other than this.
As stated, this is a fairly enjoyable way to spend an hour and forty minutes, nothing more and nothing less. And while Heston was probably the most miscast Sherlock Holmes since Roger Moore in "Sherlock Holmes in New York," it still was a pleasure to see this great actor again. He is missed.
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on October 12, 2009
It took us a long time to get this film region free so we were very happy with this company and the fact that most of there films are region free. Charlton Heston makes a fine Sherlock Homes,although the normal americanisations of sherlock stand out in abundance, for instance the deerstalker hat, the mearsham pipe. If only they had stuck to the story and had not gone of in a different direction this film would have rated 5 stars instead of 3,but did we enjoy it? you bet we did.
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on August 27, 2010
I may not be unbiased enough to give a fair review of this product. I am a lover of all things "Sherlockian" so that each and every new story or DVD I come to I will add it to my collection. Now there is a little bit of a stretch of the imagination to see Charlton Heston as Sherlock Holmes since Heston was a pretty large and sturdy man and Holmes was described as "over 6 feet tall and slender. BUT I like Heston too. So, I say buy it and enjoy it. It's worth the cost for a couple of hours entertainment on a rainy day or a cold wintery evening.
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on September 3, 2013
I can only repeat what others have written. It was a pleasure to see the late Charlton Heston portray Holmes if only to help out his son who was responsible for the film. Given the variety of other Holmes portrayals we have seen in the 20+ years since this movie was made, Heston no longer seems out of place. He is, in fact, a rather comfortable Holmes though it was not in his style to be as eccentric as the character we had come to expect at the time of his creation.
I differ from some in having liked the performance of Watson. He was not the befuddled character Nigel Bruce was forced to play, although not as true a companion as the lamented series on BBC which was terminated by the death of Holmes (Jeremy Brett).
Irene was, of course, a borrowing from Irene Adler, the only woman Holmes ever loved. In this case, it is Watson who is attracted. Have still never heard of the actress playing the strong female role of Irene, Susannah Harker. However, she appears, in middle age (48), to be still active but not in ways which would put her in the American spotlight.
Edward Fox, always a pleasure to watch, was undoubtedly told to lay the British Gentleman character on with a trowel; he does so with great gusto to the gratification of at least this fan of his.
All in all, quite a watchable Holmes outing which most fans should enjoy (as should the general viewer not addicted to the killing a minute action-thriller). Even though Holmes lacks the intensely idiosyncratic character of the key modern players of the part, it is still well done by one of our better actors.
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on October 6, 2013
Charlton Heston is a great Holmes, rivaling Rathbone and others. The story is well constructed, scripted and the supporting cast excellent.

If you enjoy mysteries, especially classic Sherlock Holmes, you'll like this.
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on November 26, 2009
This is a disappointing effort, given that it was made by the same production company - and around the same time - as the masterful 1990 "Treasure Island," which is just about the most perfect rendition of that classic story imaginable. Unfortunately, Sherlock Holmes was simply not the right role for an aging Charlton Heston. (Though if you think he couldn't pull off Long John Silver, you would be wrong.) Here, he's simply too ponderous, too American and too lacking in Holmes' mercurial temperament. It might possibly have worked if he'd played Holmes in retirement, but this is set in the heyday of Holmes' career. Nor does Heston's portrayal mesh with the flagrant melodrama of much of the story, though Richard Johnson does a solid Watson and there is support from a good to excellent team of classically trained actors. At the excellent end, I'd put Clive Wood as Jonathan Small (at least in the prologue, as later he is so covered in grotesque make-up and his voice so distorted as to be unrecognizable). The prologue, set during the Indian mutiny and also featuring John Castle and Edward Fox as the most obnoxious of British officers, is worth a repeat viewing for Wood's nuanced portrayal of a sturdy private who tries to do his duty and is keen on protecting his men (despised natives though they may be) but is caught up in the spiral of death and greed. His "Sir, ye must not abuse my men..." is really a wonderful moment.
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on April 28, 2016
I like all Sherlock Holmes movies, even those that are not faithful to the book. I enjoy the atmosphere, the mystery. I have every Sherlock Holmes movie available. I wish Hollywood and Amazon would make a special effort to produce really fine quality DVD or Blue Ray versions of those that are not available or are poor quality. The foremost of these would be Frank Langella's The Strange Case of Miss Alice Faulkner, followed by The Masks of Death with Peter Cushing, and all of the made-for-TV Sherlock Holmes, including The Return of the World's Greatest Detective with Larry Hagman, Sherlock Holmes Returns with Anthony Higgins, and The Return of Sherlock Holmes with Michael Pennington.
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on August 26, 2013
Gather around and you shall enjoy great yarns of Sherlock Holmes. From youth to maturity the yarns spin you in with the endless stories from Watson's view. Only Sir Arthur could write with ability to tell the basic story and let Actors of any age bring you to the game that's afoot.
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on October 9, 2013
Based on the Sign of Four . Heston is not the best portrait of the sleuth , something just does not click . You buy and watch this production for two reasons : being a fan of Charlton Heston and being a fan of Holmes , either would do .
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