Thursday, May 18, 2017

Script review - "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" by Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond (warning: spoilers)

I mean, yeah, sure, I guess. It's okay. I still wonder why Wilder bothered. The first act involves a woman wanting Holmes to father her child - which is actually a great idea for a film. But he says no and gets out of it by pretending to be in love with Watson, and refuses to deny he's gay to Watson. Instead of kicking on to a story about that, a whole new story starts up...

The bulk of the story is about an amnesiac woman turning up at Baker Street and Holmes kind of falling for her. There's some good ideas (using Loch Ness, trappist monks), but it all feels hollow because Mycroft Holmes knows all the answers from the get-go, he just doesn't say anything until the end; and Holmes is outsmarted by the woman and Mycroft; and it's about a British sub that is destroyed.

I get that they were trying to subvert Holmes - more drugs, possible gayness, less cleverness. But they don't really go for it, when it comes to subversion - it's all very mild. What if Holmes was gay for Watson? What if he was a moron? What if he was a full on drug addict? They don't do that here. They make him less, smart more gullible - that's all well and good, but it makes him less fun.

This script I read I think was a transcript. I would love to read the original draft, because I understand the final film was much cut about. I had a glimpse of the synopsis for these on wikipedia - it didn't sound that awesome even uncut. I am still unsure why Wilder bothered. A bit of a dud. Needlessly long too.

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