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Sherlock Holmes & the Fabulous Faces - The Universal Pictures Repertory Company Paperback – August 31, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael A. Hoey is a film and television writer, director and producer. He is the son of Dennis Hoey who played Inspector Lestrade in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series. Hoey began in Hollywood working as a  film editor. He later wrote, directed or produced a number of feature films, including the teen comedy "Palm Springs Weekend," the cult sci-fi flick "The Navy vs the Night Monsters" and two movies starring Elvis Presley. He then transitioned into television where he wrote and directed a number of shows, including a multi-year run on "Fame" for which he received several awards. He lives in San Clemente, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593936605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593936600
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
BearManor Media presents "SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE FABULOUS FACES - THE UNIVERSAL PICTURES REPERTORY COMPANY" (Paperback) - by Michael A. Hoey, gives us an insight to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories with our heroes Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Doctor Watson. Hoey is a British author, film and television writer, director, and producer. He is the son of Dennis Hoey, who played Inspector Lestrade in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series. So who better to write about this genre and the films we all grew up watching.

"Sherlock Holmes and the Fabulous Faces: The Universal Pictures Repertory Company" he discusses the lives and careers of the many character actors and actresses who supported Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the 12 Holmes films made at Universal between 1942-1946. All of these films whetted our appetitive for future releases with a different players. But it was this cast and the people around them that gave us the Holmes we all loved and rooted for.

The Holmes series was arguably the most successful franchise in Universal Pictures history, with its 12 films far outnumbering even the highly influential "Frankenstein" series of 7 seven sequels, or "The Mummy" and its four sequels.

Hoey mentions in the Epilogue - "I viewed each of the twelve Sherlock Holmes films that starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce several times. Even on a small monitor screen I was amazed at the quality of the films and their ability to hold your interest.
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In 1939 Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce played Holmes and Watson in two outstanding films for Fox, the first to set the characters in their true historical period. In 1942 Universal cast them in "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror", the first of twelve films set in the present day. Amanda J Field's recent book "England's Secret Weapon" examines the films in the context of their time. Now Michael A Hoey, whose father Dennis was the unforgettable Lestrade to Rathbone's Holmes, takes a different and equally interesting approach in "Sherlock Holmes & the Fabulous Faces: The Universal Pictures Repertory Company". His personal acquaintance with many of the artistes who contributed to these and other Universal productions gives his biographical sketches an unusually engaging immediacy. It's fascinating to follow the careers of actors such as Reginald Denny, Mary Gordon, Olaf Hytten and Frederick Worlock. The critical summaries of the films themselves are perceptive, pertinent and equally engrossing. Michael Hoey has given us a book that's both important and entertaining.

Roger Johnson, Editor: The Sherlock Holmes Journal
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Dennis Hoey's son (the Lestrade Character's son) does an admirable job filling in facts and figures of the character actors used in these films by Director William Neil. He made visits to the set as a child and shares his recollections of his experiences. The book opened my eyes to details I would otherwise have never known. This is for serious fans only. If you have viewed all 14 movies and watch them over and over, this is a must for you!
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author (son of Lestrade) gave very interesting info on the scores of players who abounded in the Holmes series, putting names and bios to the faces; would have enjoyed more background on the films as well, but a worthwhile read for any Holmes fan
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It should first be noted that sadly, Mr. Michael Hoey passed away in August of 2014. There is one reviewer criticizing some "finer points" about the lack of coverage on certain players. Personally, I feel that is not even an issue here. Overall this is a very important reference tool for historians of Hollywood's "Golden Era." With the passing of Mr. Hoey, and the aging of the fan base of this era, there may never be another reference book of this type made available for public purchase again. I encourage all fans of that Holmes / Bruce series to get this book. It "IS" quite interesting and very thorough. Finally, my condolences to the Hoey family for their loss.
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