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The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 504 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This one-of-a-kind collection features the dozen Holmes movies digitally restored and remastered by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. South African-born British actor Basil Rathbone was a star of such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood, David Copperfield and Romeo and Juliet before achieving screen immortality playing Arthur Conan Doyles brilliant Holmes, beginning with The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1939. Those instant hits led to 12 more mind-bending mysteries over the next seven years, each also starring Nigel Bruce (Alfred Hitchcocks Suspicion) as Holmes loyal, if often befuddled, friend Dr. Watson. While several of the Rathbone movies were based on Conan Doyles original stories, others pitted Holmes against contemporary villains, including the Nazis. But Rathbones personification of literatures most famous crime solver remained a constant source of wonder and delight throughout the series.

Special Features

  • Six Audio Commentaries including an all new Dressed to Kill Commentary with Actress Patricia Morison
  • An Interview with Robert Gitt of the UCLA Film and TV Archive
  • Footage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Production Notes
  • Still Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene, Wendy Barrie, Lionel Atwill
  • Directors: Alfred L. Werker, John Rawlins, Roy William Neill, Sidney Lanfield
  • Writers: Arthur Conan Doyle, Bertram Millhauser, Brenda Weisberg, Edmund L. Hartmann
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 974 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EXZFRQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,209 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hornaday on April 10, 2006
Format: DVD
MPI Home Video has made a terrific decision here, combining all of its previously released DVD boxed sets of this classic 14-film series into one affordable package. It is a must buy for any Sherlock Holmes fan, or anyone who enjoys classic mysteries, who does not already have all of these wonderful films.

When these were first released on DVD it was truly a cause for celebration, as it represented the completed painstaking restoration of all 14 classic films by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

The UCLA Theatre Archives did an award-winning job in restoring and thus preserving these great films from 35mm master copies into the digital format, sometimes literally being forced to piece together the celluloid remnants that they found.

It took the archivists several years to complete the entire project, but was well worth the wait. The result is that the black and white images seem as fresh today as when the films were released to theatres more than 40 years ago. The archivists deserve a hearty thanks from all movie fans concerned with preserving America's classic cinema heritage for future generations to enjoy.

This boxed set includes a facinating feature on what it took to restore the films. Well worth watching, it's wonderful that it's included.

Atmospherically, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is arguably the best of the 14 Holmes films, and the only one based specifically on a Conan Doyle story. It, and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," are the only two "period" films in the series and run longer, the remainder taking place in then modern-day England and America of the late 30s and early 40s and run about 90 minutes each.
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Format: Blu-ray
THE SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION (MPI): HD enthusiasts with a passion for the Golden Age need to do themselves a favor next week by picking up MPI's Blu-Ray box-set of the "Sherlock Holmes Collection," which not only will encourage the release of more titles like it but also infuse your collection with terrific HD presentations of the 14 vintage Holmes mysteries starring Basil Rathbone as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective and Nigel Bruce as his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson.

The five-disc BD set offers the duo's first two series entries - "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the outstanding "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" - which were produced at Fox as Grade-A productions in 1939, as well as the following 12 pictures Rathbone and Bruce starred in for Universal Pictures beginning in 1942.

Universal's entries differed from the Fox films in a number of ways: the studio produced the films on a lower (though not entirely bargain-basement) budget and, most notably, initially shifted the stories away from Victorian era England to the then-present day of the 1940s. This enabled the producers to offer more "contemporary" WWII-era stories (most evidently seen in "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror," "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon," and "Sherlock Holmes in Washington"), designed to appeal to populist sentiment of the time with anti-Nazi themes permeating the respective mysteries.
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Format: DVD
Philip St. John Basil Rathbone (13 June 1892, Johannesburg--21 July 1967, New York) and William Nigel Bruce (4 Sep. 1895, Ensenada--8 Oct 1953, Santa Monica) starred in 14 Sherlock-Holmes films as, respectively, Holmes and Watson. The first two films (1939) are period pieces whereas the last 12 (1942-46) are contemporary ("modern").

"The complete Sherlock Holmes collection" is a 6/06 reissue on 5 DVDs of a 14-DVD set (in 5 boxes) previously issued by MPI 10/03-4/04. The reissues by MPI, which involve restorations of the 1942-46 films, have been critically acclaimed. This review thus just compares the 2006 and 2003-04 sets of reissues (this review also supplements the previous two reviews by R. Smith, 7/18, and E. Hornaday, 4/10):

OVERVIEW: 2006 reissue = 14 films on 5 DVDs (see below for track listing) in 1 box 1 1/4" wide VERSUS 2003-04 reissue = 14 films on 14 DVDs in 5 boxes totaling 4 3/8" wide.

DVD CONTENT: Same in both reissues except the 2006 box set has for "Dressed to kill" an added (i.e., unfortunately, not on the earlier issues) commentary by actress Patricia Morison and Holmes scholars David Gregory and Richard Valley.

BOOKLET/INSERT AND TEXT CONTENT: The 2006 box set has 2 pages of text besides the front cover. The 2003-04 reissues have 5 booklets ("production notes") written by Richard Valley, 8 pages each for "Hound" and "Adventures," 16 pages each for volumes 1-3. Although there is some overlap material, these 64 pages have many pictures and have much information on the 14 films, including cast listings.

SUMMARY OF PROS AND CONS OF 2006 BOX SET:

PROS: (1) much less expensive--$129.99 list ($119.99 Amazon in 7/06) versus $249.90 list ($224.
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