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4.2 out of 5 stars
Sherlock Holmes and The Case Of The Silk Stocking [2004] [DVD]
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2005
Before BBC1 aired this new Sherlock Holmes adventure around Christmas 2004, I was a little apprehensive.
The programme's writer, Allan Cubitt, had done a cracking adaptation of Conan Doyle's novel The Hound of the Baskervilles in 2002 directed by David Attwood and starring Richard Roxburgh as Holmes and Ian Hart as Watson. While Roxburgh had his detractors (although I thought he gave a great, coldly cerebral performance) praise for Hart was unanimous, the script and actor taking an approach that emphasised Watson's adaptability, strength of character and military service in Afghanistan rather more than other adaptations. Cubitt also teased out the issues of trust from Conan Doyle's story, giving the relationship between Holmes and Watson an absorbing frisson.
I was hoping for more adaptations, but when the BBC announced that Cubitt was creating a new Holmes story I was curious, but a little disappointed. Upon learning that Roxburgh had been replaced by Rupert Everett, whom I couldn't see working in the role at all, I found my enthusiasm waning.
I shouldn't have been so concerned. Simon Cellan Jones had replaced Attwood at the helm and actually, though the production was a very different experience to The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking was generally highly successful.
Set sometime after the Conan Doyle's stories, the script is lifted out of simple pastiche by the manner in which Cubitt moves the central characters' relationship on. Holmes and Watson are older and while the detective's life has, to some extent, stagnated, the good doctor's has moved on in both professional and personal arenas.
This of course changes when Holmes begins investigating a series of murders, all involving young women with beautiful feet and strangulation via the titular hosiery.
Hart continues to be wonderful as Watson, while Everett makes for a very captivating and atypical Holmes - while the flashes of intellectual brilliance are still there, his Holmes is somewhat more vulnerable and out-of-place or even out-of-time than the character is presented by Conan Doyle.
While perhaps a more modern mystery than some of the much-loved short stories and novels, The Case of the Silk Stocking is nonetheless an exceedingly satisfying mystery. This modernity is excused to an extent by the tale being situated after the Conan Doyle canon and when it works the best it is precisely because the dynamic between the two leads has moved on.
The creators of this tale have taken the legacy of Holmes seriously and have come up with a very worthy and, more importantly, fantastically exciting tale. Although I miss Roxburgh (and nobody in moving image versions of the character stands up to Jeremy Brett) I'd be thrilled to see much more of Everett in the role.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
After the crashing disappointment of the BBC's recent version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, the producers have taken a positive step in replacing the truly dreadful Richard Roxburgh as Holmes. Unfortunately, Rupert Everett is only a mild improvement. Less of a crashing ham than Roxburgh, instead he comes across as a rather narcissistic and disinterested confirmed bachelor rather than a master detective, constantly striking brooding poses but never once convincing that there's either a human being or a brilliant deductive machine beneath them. Always an extremely limited actor, he brings little to the part beyond a reminder of how desperately uninteresting an actor he is when given centre-stage.

Thankfully, Ian Hart's Watson has been retained and improved, and he's given a much better part than the moody, petulant and antagonistic reading in Hound. Similarly, the ill-advised mutual distrust and barely submerged hatred grafted onto Holmes and Watson has been dropped in favour of a relationship more akin to the cut 'Case of the Upside Down Room' section of Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, with Watson trying to save his friend from his drug addiction by interesting him in a baffling case (unfortunately they have also carried over Robert Stephens' horrendous white-as-a-corpse makeup job for Sherlock).

The case itself isn't overburdened with originality, at times playing like a more refined Dario Argento giallo without the gore as Holmes is drawn out of a drug binge to find the fetishistic killer of several aristocratic young girls, but it moves along at a decent pace and makes for an entertaining if undemanding 99 minutes despite an abundance of anachronisms and an overuse of the fog machine to hide the lower budget. It's just a shame that once again they've come up short one Sherlock.

The only extra is an audio commentary by Simon Cellan-Jones and Elinor Day.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2005
I was really looking forward to this Sherlock Holmes production after the Hound of the Baskervilles was so finely adapted and characterised. Ian Hart returning as Watson was one very good sign, and with Rupert Everett interestingly cast as Sherlock Holmes in a newly written mystery it had amazing potential to be both an excellent but also refreshing take on Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, just as the Hound of the Baskervilles was. If only the writing had lived up to that promise.
Certainly, the production was stylish and efficient. Rupert Everett's Sherlock was different from Conan Doyle's, but at first this came across more as a different interpretation rather than the shoddy characterisation that became apparent later on. Despite a few irksome character moments, this was quite a handsome and intriguing Holmes, but really. Taking cocaine in the middle of a case, when a life could be at stake? That's not Sherlock Holmes by any stretch of the imagination. Character gripes aside though (and of those I have none with Watson, who was delightful) it was the new case itself that was the greatest let down. It just screamed trashy American crime show. Sherlock Holmes: SVU. Plotless titillation as opposed to a mystery that should have been a challenge Holmes' vast mental capacities - isn't it that element of his personality, coupled with his equally large flaws, the reason why his character still fascinates us after over a century?
Instead, this story was simplistic, predictable, and not quite long enough to last the show's time span. And the twist at the end, on which it seemed hinged the lasting interest and credibility of the show as a whole, was an obvious, almost crude cliché - one that imploded any chances Silk Stocking has of surpassing, or even matching the last adaptation. To make Holmes' intellect to conform to such a weak storyline was ridiculous to the point where it seemed insulting to the original work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2011
I loved Rupert Everett as Sherlock in this drama,the story is gripping,about a serial sexual predator,with a fetish for stockings. The acting first class,i was hoping that Rupert would appear in the future again as Sherlock,hopefully one day?Highly recommended
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on 13 January 2006
It is November of 1902, and when the body of a young prostitute is found on the banks of the Thames, only Dr. John Watson (played by Ian Hart) suspects that something is amiss. When Sherlock Holmes examines the body he quickly makes a startling announcement, the body is that of Lady Alice Burnham. Someone is stalking the debutantes of London, and Scotland Yard is out of its depth. The game is afoot, and Sherlock Holmes is hot on the chase!
OK, I must admit to being of two minds about this movie. First of all, there are some things that turned me off. First of all, both Holmes and Watson are portrayed as much less cordial and polite than they were in the original A.C. Doyle stories, prompting my wife to label Rupert Everett as "the crabby Holmes." Also, Mr. Everett does not bring much energy to the role, giving a surprisingly somnambular performance. Secondly, I found Dr. Watson's fiancé (what happened to his first wife, Mary Morstan?) far too much of a clichéd American - "Come in, Sherlock, have a whiskey!"
But, that said, I really did enjoy this movie. The subject matter goes beyond the more simple stories of the original Holmes, but does a good job of catching Sherlock's spirit. I found myself pulled into the story, and really enjoying it. I am a great fan of Jeremy Brett's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, but I must say that this is a solid, highly-enjoyable Sherlock Holmes story.
So, if you enjoy a good Sherlock Holmes story, then you will enjoy this movie. It's Sherlock Holmes, eight years after the events of The Adventure of the Empty House, and once more on the trail of a murderer. I really enjoyed this movie, and highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2012
Not just Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart as Dr Watson, but the fascinating Helen McCrory as Mrs Vandeleur, psychoanalyst, aka Mrs Watson, and Michael Fassbender in an early role. This is an intelligent extension of the original story, filling out the characters and the period.
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on 21 August 2014
I enjoyed the film. It wasn't a bad effort, although I have to say that Rupert Everett would not have been my first choice to play the part of Holmes and I would not have made Watson's fiancée (wife at the end of the film) an American. However, these are all minior flaws and if one doesn't mind the fact that the story the film is based on is not one of Doyle's, then this is an enjoyable film with an interesting cast that includes Michael Fassbender, subtle hints relevant to the original Sherlock Holmes stories and older Sherlock Holmes films and a good plot.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have never been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and whilst I realise that this is probably heresy and will get me hanged, I've found the characters unconvincing and Holmes himself is an unsympathetic, pompous, self-satisfied know-it-all. and the Watson in the books is not the bumbling fool so often portrayed on film and television.

Then along comes Rupert Everett who, although exceedingly pretty, I've never much rated as an actor. In this case there was never an actor more suited to a role since John Thaw played Morse. Everett has many pertinant personal qualities which he brings to bear in his portrayal of Holmes and for the first time, I was utterly captivated and sympathetic to this very complex character who was brought to life by Everett and the completely perfect Ian Hart as Watson.

If you like reading Sherlock Holmes you will finally see your hero played properly. If you don't like Sherlock Holmes, watch this at once and perpare to be delighted.

Note to Producers: Please do some more as soon as possible.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2005
Since watching this all new Sherlock Holmes mystery I have almost read (and in some cases re-read) Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles entire Sherlock Holmes output. The sucess of this drama is undoubtedly due to the performances of Rupert Everett and Ian Harte as Holmes and Dr. Watson respectively. Everett is the best Holmes since Sir John Gielgud's radio performances. And Ian Harte is the perfect mixture of compassion and resolve. That the actors manage such stellar performances with such a weak script is incredible.
Actually the characterisation in the script and the speech itself is fine (most of it is nicked from Conan-Doyles original stories), it's just the plot which is dire. What a shame, but perhaps someone will be sensible enough to commision an entire series of Holmes mysteries.
As a footnote, costume, filming, supporting actors are all excellent.
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on 19 November 2013
I love this DVD and have watched it several times. Ian Hart is an amazing actor, Rupert Everett was a great addition to the many actors who have played Sherlock Holmes over the years, and the eye candy is provided by Michael Fassbender - doesn't get any better than this!
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