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on 29 August 2001
The second of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories receives first class treatment in this version by Granada Television starring the late Jeremy Brett. The plot involves a wronged woman, an Indian treasure, murder, a wooden-legged man, a pygme and an exiting boat chase on the river Thames. Peter Hammond directs with great flair and Brett and Hardwicke are excellent ans Holmes and Watson. This is the best of the feature lenght episodes in the series and the only reason it doesn't get five stars is beacuse the storytelling in somewhat uneaven, involving a length fashback towards the end (just like the novel). Highly recommended for mystery addicts and Holmes-fans alike.
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on 29 November 2006
Made to commemorate a hundred years of Conan Doyle's sleuth, this is indeed a fitting tribute. Brett scintilates as Holmes in one of Conan Doyle's finest tales. Hardwicke provides an ever reliable performance as Watson, and while he might not get the girl as in the book (but beggaring around with a wife in the series would have been impracticle), you can't help but notice the frisson between himself and Jenny Seagrove putting in a splendid performance as heroine Mary Morstan. Add to that key character actor Ronald Lacey in a well judged performance as the eccentric Sholto twins, the excellent John Thaw as villain Jonathan Small, and a cracking boat chase up the Thames, and you have a real winner.
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on 29 March 2016
If any teachers are ordering this with a view to teaching it as part of the new Eng Lit curriculum, change now!
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2003
Out of all the feature-length Sherlock Holmes stories done in this series this is the only one I didn't take to. This may be partly because the original story wasn't one that engrossed me, involving as it does a lengthy flashback that takes up a considerable amount of the novella. So, yes, I came to the t.v version a bit prejudiced. As with all of the Jeremy Brett versions this was very well made indeed, but the plot here didn't improve on the book version, and Jenny Seagrove is irritatingly wooden as the female lead. Try "The Master Blackmailer", "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" or "The Last Vampyre" instead.
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on 14 January 2001
This is a superb adaptation of the original Conan Doyle text with Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke as the very best Holmes and Watson to grace the small screen. The Sign of Four is one of the most exciting and memorable of the Holmes stories, and this version does it justice with lavish attention to detail and a brilliant supporting cast including John Thaw. A definite must-have.
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on 30 June 2016
With the exception of the end, very close to the text, useful classroom resource
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on 25 January 2015
A better dramatisation than a novella.
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on 11 May 2008
Could the people responsible for the transfer of this story from TV to DVD please correct the fault in the continuity?The bit in which TOBY,the dog,leads Holmes and Watson across London to the bank of the Thames and then to a tar barrel is the wrong way around!This is what happens when you use a mastercopy which has been in the hands of a cable TV company who have sliced away at the film to make way for more adverts per hour,as cable TV is allowed, compared to a terrestial channel like Granada.The Resident Patient also suffers from a few cuts in the hanging scene,presumably cut to make it "safe" to broadcast in the afternoon!As Jeremy Brett destroyed his health in the process of creating the all time definitive Holmes,it might be nice if the people in charge of his legacy treated it with a bit of respect instead of this decade long neglect!
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on 18 May 2016
It's a school book
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on 29 July 2001
As usual Jeremy Brett is excellent as Holmes, however this storyline lacks tension. Even the addition of John Thaw cannot retrieve it. Others in the series will not disappoint.
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