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Customer Review

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE LEADING LADY & INCIDENT AT VICTORIA FALLS, October 31, 2012
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This review is from: Sherlock Holmes - TV Miniseries Collection (DVD)
As you can see in the photo on this product page, the DVD cover states that these movies were digitally restored, so that is why I decided to buy this DVD set. I've seen earlier DVD releases and this video quality is actually better and the movies look nice on my HD TV.

This set does not contain subtitles or any DVD Extras.
This package contains 1 DVD for each movie, and each movie is broken into 2 parts as was done when they were originally shown on US TV as a 2 part miniseries.
All of the 4 parts are approximately 1 hour 32 minutes in length, meaning that the total run time of each movie is approximately 184 minutes.

The front cover of this DVD also implies that both movies are complete versions so they are presumably uncut in any way, but I don't know how to verify this because I've seen different run times given for cut and uncut versions. For instance, Madacy released these films separately on DVD in 2006 and gives slightly longer run times of 194 minutes, but I don't think that the video is digitally restored. Then in 2007 Madacy released this DVD package: Sherlock Holmes: Collector's Edition (Five-Disk Edition, Tin packaging)

These movies were filmed in 1991 and 1992, and Christopher Lee who plays Sherlock Holmes was 69-70 years old when they were filmed, so I want to make the point that we here have an older and slower version of Holmes rather than the typical younger character who is usually protrayed as being physically and mentally invulnerable. This Holmes feels his age and states that his powers are not as great as they used to be, and he is portrayed as being more human and fallible. Therefore viewers should be prepared to expect that difference. Some may not like this change but it is actually quite valid and appropriate for the portrayal of an elderly person. Patrick MacNee is the same age as Christopher Lee and nicely plays Dr. Watson in both movies.

The story takes place in 1910, just 4 years before the outbreak of World War 1.
A scientist in Vienna invents the first bomb that can be detonated from a distance by using a remote control. He gives the prototype and device plan to the British ambassador but these are quickly stolen from him by Bosnian terrorists. Several countries are after this device, and King Edward has Mycroft ask his brother Sherlock to take the case and retrieve both the prototype and the device plan. The plot is intricate because this is a story of international espionage and terrorists planning an assassination, and there are also sub-plots that relate to the whole.

Much of the story centers around the Vienna Opera House where Irene Adler (Morgan Fairchild) is singing, and her love for Holmes is kindled. The inventor of the remote controlled bomb is murdered at the Opera House during a rehearsal and Holmes twice asks Sigmund Freud to hypnotize Irene in hopes that she will be able to recall details she can't consciously remember. Terrorist schemes also center around the Vienna Opera House as they plan a political assassination. Engelbert Humperdinck plays a role as a singer who has a brief affair with the British ambassador's wife. There are also nice touches of humor in regard to a theatre critic who hates the music director.

Some have complained that the movie is too long but I personally don't think so because the sub-plots are interesting and paint a broader picture, the acting is well done so fans will enjoy watching their favorite players, and there are nice touches of humor in several places throughout the movie.

Director - Peter Sasdy
Executive producer - Harry Alan Towers aka Peter Welbeck
Writers - H.R.F. Keating, Bob Shayne

Sherlock Holmes - Christopher Lee
Dr. Watson - Patrick MacNee
Irene Adler - Morgan Fairchild
Sigmund Freud - John Bennett
Eberhardt Bohm - Engelbert Humperdinck
Elliott Ness - Tom Lahm
Sir Reginald Cholmondley - Ronald Hines
Michael Simpson-Makepeace - Nicholas Gecks
Lady Violet Cholmondley - Jenny Quayle
Franz Winterhauser - Michael Siberry
Captain Von Bork - Dominic Jephcott
Dr. Froelich - Frank Middlemass
Margarete Froelich - Charlotte Attenborough
Franz Dietrich - James Bree
Count Giddings - John Gower

This story also takes place in 1910. King Edward VII asks Holmes to go to South Africa to ensure safe delivery to England of the Star of Africa, a priceless diamond sought after by many. Again, there are several sub-plots related to the whole. Holmes and Watson join a group of tourists, some of whom have other motives besides sight seeing. Appearances are deceptive and not everyone is who they claim to be, and this complicates things for Holmes. Along the way we meet famous actress Lily Langtree (Jenny Seagrove), the fictional Raffles, President Teddy Roosevelt (Claude Akins), and radio inventor Marconi. Again, I repeat what I said above because that statement also applies to this movie: some have complained that the movie is too long but I personally don't think so because the sub-plots are interesting and paint a broader picture, and the acting is well done.

Director - Bill Corcoran
Writing credits
Gerry O'Hara - (story)
Bob Shayne - (teleplay)

Cast (in credits order)
Christopher Lee - Sherlock Holmes
Patrick Macnee - Dr. John Watson
Jenny Seagrove - Lillie Langtry
Joss Ackland - King Edward
Richard Todd - Lord Roberts
Claude Akins - Theodore Roosevelt
John Indi - Khumalo
Steven Gurney - Gugliamo Marconi
Sunitha Singh - Maharani
Anthony Fridjohn- Constantine Mavropolis
Claudia Udy - Amelia Roosevelt Morrison
Neil McCarthy - Captain James Morrison
Jay Pillay - Chandra Sen (as Pat Pillay)
Dale Cutts - Superintendent Henry Van Meer
Alan Coates - Stanley I. Bullard
Margaret John - Mrs. Hudson
Jerome Willis - Mycroft Holmes
Kessie Govendor - Ram Dhulup
Hywell Williams - Lord Milner
Kenway Baker - Inspector Lestrade
Sangeeta Jina - Uma Dhulup
Dominic Makuwachuma - Themba (as Dominic Makuvachuma)
Ron Smerczak - Lt. Grisholm (as Ron Smervzak)
Michael Brunner - Colonel Thornbury
Trevor Keeling - Hotel Manager
Patrick Cadman - Telegrapher
Stephen Chigorimbo - Waiter on Train (as Steve Chigorimbo)
Jones Muguse - Chief Cook
Anthony Fairclough - Officer
Brian Cooper - Conductor
Lawford Sutton - Price- Sergeant Fuller
Michael Parker - Maitre D'
Kala Jina - Neighbor Woman
Taffy Chihota - Desk Clerk #1 (as Tafi Chiota)
Andrew Whaley - Desk Clerk #2
Trevor Pugh - Connery
Paul Tingay - Anglican Minister
Brian McCurdy - Coachman

I'm happy to have these good quality video restorations on DVD and initially was hopeful that they are the original uncut versions, as statements on the cover would lead one to believe. I now have my doubts because these DVD movies are only 184 minutes in length, while the Madacy DVDs list slightly longer run times of 194 minutes. Also, some sources give 200 minutes run times, so I don't know what the true original uncut run times actually were.
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