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Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) DVD Question?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Lane F.

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Posted November 01 2003 - 09:19 AM

Forgive me for this stupid question, but are the following the only boxsets I have to buy to have a complete set of this series? I was a bit confused when looking on deepdiscountdvd, as it came up with several matches (individual discs and boxsets). I remeber watching this series on A&E about 10 years ago, and was very impressed with them.

ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES SET 1-5

RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   DouglasBr

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Posted November 01 2003 - 03:21 PM

No.

There is a "Sherlock Holmes Feature Films" set which contains five 2-hour shows (Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four, The Eligible Bachelor, etc), some of which are considered, um, second-rate compared to the Adventures and Return sets. Some may want the whole set, but I only sprung for the Hound and Sign of Four individually.

Also, MPI Home Video has yet to release "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes". No word yet when we'll see them here in R1.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Lane F.

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Posted November 01 2003 - 03:45 PM

DouglasBr,

Thanks for the info. Am I correct to assume that "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" are also staring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes?

EDIT: Nevermind, I just found this webpage that has a list of all the episodes. Thanks for the help. Time to order the three boxsets that are available, and wait on the last two.
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Philip Brandes

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Posted November 01 2003 - 04:12 PM

Douglas,

You are quite right about that second round of 2-hour episodes being notably inferior to the rest of the series. I don't know what they were thinking--the beauty of the other episodes was the way they stayed so close to the original Doyle stories and yet STILL made them great on the screen. Why they felt compelled to take liberties with those three 2-hour eps is beyond me--for that I could watch the old Rathbone & Bruce movies. All that being said, I bought them anyway, for no other reason that I wanted to help demonstrate the market for releasing the rest of the series. And of course, even with substandard scripts Jeremy Brett was the definitive Holmes.

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#5 of 14 OFFLINE   David Illingworth II

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Posted November 02 2003 - 05:25 AM

Yeah, the Feature Film Collection is definitely a mixed bag. The Last Vampyre is basically unwatchable, and even worse is the Eligible Bachelor, which if I recall correctly mixes two stories together with truly horrendous results! If anyone call recall which other story besides the "Noble Bachelor" became the "Eligible Bachelor" I would be much obliged.
But I really think that the Master Blackmailer in the FFC is an excellent production. In fact, one of the best Holmes shows.
Cannot wait until Memoirs and Casebook are released, but I have not found a site that announces these.
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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   DouglasBr

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Posted November 02 2003 - 05:41 AM

David,

Agreed. I'll still probably pick up Blackmailer but likely not the other two.

As to the quality of the episodes, I think it's generally agreed that the departure of John Hawkesworth and others of the original team that developed the series led to the experimentation (unfortunate, imho) of the later episodes.

If memory serves correcctly, the "Memoirs" features less and less of Brett, as his health declined seriously in the end. Watson and Mycroft were more prominently involved in the solutions to the mysteries for these edisodes. I've had them on tape all these years but have yet to watch them. The "Bachelor" and "Vampyre" experiences soured me enough to lead to my indifference, I guess. Perhaps I should finally watch them before I decide whether or not to spring for them on DVD (if and when. . .).

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   David Illingworth II

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Posted November 02 2003 - 01:42 PM

Douglas,

If I remember correctly, there are only two episodes in which Brett does not really appear at all. One is Mazarin Stone, I don't remember the other.
I'm looking forward to the other collections when they make it out. I used to watch a bunch of these when I was younger, but I never know which ones I've seen and which I haven't. So, when I get a collection there is always some mystery to it.
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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted November 02 2003 - 02:42 PM

Aaah, "The Mazarin Stone". An episode that made me glad that was the final season.

The problem with that episode was that, due to Brett's illness, they had to do the story without the star. So they write him out, with a strange scene at the start where Holmes, seemingly having indulged in a little cocaine, declares to Watson "It's no good, I must go to the moors". And then, he says the weirdest thing - "I shall watch you with my third eye". Huh?

Then they tell the story of the Mazarin Stone. One problem - there really is no story to the Mazarin Stone. From memory, it's just a story where two guys after this stone try to kill Holmes, Holmes tricks them, and then says "Hah! I caught you." It's a nothing story.

So they pair it up with another story, The Three Garridebs. Now that story actually had substance, and would have made a good story. The actual episode in the end was the story of the Three Garridebs, but instead they were now looking for the Mazarin Stone. For no readily apparent reason. Why not just make the Three Garridebs as written? I don't know.

Anyway, the absence of Holmes requires a replacement. Mycroft Holmes, the brother who it has previously been established has powers superior to Sherlock. Problem is, it was also established that Mycroft was extremely lazy. So when they do a Holmes story, and just change the name of the Holmes from the energetic Sherlock to the less-than-energetic Mycroft, we suddenly have a lead who behaves completely out of charatcer.

To say nothing of the fact that, in one sequence, Holmes was supposed to adopt a number of disguises - cab driver, old woman. And Jeremy Brett was surprisingly convincing in disguise. Mycroft was a large character with a deep voice. He was therefore rather unconvincing as a little old lady, and frankly all his disguises still looked like him! SO the scene where his opponent says "I had no idea" and "Your skill at disguises is unparalleled", the scene is frankly laugh out loud.

And then, at the end, they find the stone, and then cut to a shot of Holmes, presumably in the fog covered moors, holding his finger in the middle of his forehead, as though he has been watching the story psychically through his third eye. He says "Well done Watson. Well done Brother Mycroft". Truly ghastly.

Anyway, the other seasons have been released in region 4 by Universal under a rather strange release schedule. It is available in five three-disc sets.

Volume 1 - Movies - Hound, Blackmailer, Vampyre. None sign of the other two movies.
Volume 2 - The Memoirs - remember, this was the last season
Volume 3 - The Case-Book - second-to-last season
Volume 4 - The second season of Return (4 episodes) plus the last two episodes of the first season of Return
Volume 5 - The remaining five episodes of the first season of Return, plus the final epsiode of Adventures (The FInal Problem, with a different Watson!)

From what I hear, no plans at the moment for a release of Adventures.

So, basically, in region 4, our releases are in reversed order, starting with easily the worst episodes in the series! And we don't get the first series?

I'm planning to get the complete box set from region 2.
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted November 02 2003 - 07:25 PM

*wrong thread*
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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicodemus

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Posted November 02 2003 - 08:03 PM

I don't know if this is common knowledge already but there's a region 2 boxset of 23 dvd's featuring all Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes -stories. I gather that's the most economical and easiest way to have them all - naturally the set has quite a price (about 200 euros/dollars) but those of you who still don't have them, might want to look that way...

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Richard Hardbattle

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Posted November 03 2003 - 02:00 AM

I have the UK box that contains everything. The picture quality, and the sound quality are WAY better than the Reg 1 sets - (well I only had the Reg 1 of the first three boxes...)

The episodes are not in the correct order though.... however, the two parters (ie - Final Problem) are followed by the correct 2nd part.

The box is huge.

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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   DouglasBr

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Posted November 03 2003 - 03:19 AM

Richard,

I'm interested to hear a comparison of the picture and sound quality of the R1 & R2 releases. Though I recognize the defects on "Adventures" (especially the warbly sound on "Dancing Men" - ugh!), I'd rather have them than nothing.

But if R2 were hugely better? . . . Hmmmmm

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicodemus

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Posted November 03 2003 - 03:28 AM

Richard,

Is there subtitles in the UK set? I'm really thinking to buy it - someday anyway, when I'm a millionaire. I have The Cracker Complete Series set (UK) and that Manchester accent caused some real difficulties with understanding...

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Richard Hardbattle

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Posted November 03 2003 - 07:36 PM

There are NO subtitles on the UK releases. But the sound and picture do look as good as 15 year old ITV programs can look. The sound is less "tinny" and far more consistant - you can tell this from the opening seconds of the theme tune.

I think I have read a review somewhere which does compare the Reg 1 with the Reg 2 releases.... I will see if I can find it.

The box set can be picked up for £123.99 from the following link - they also have a picture of the box...

http://www.play.com/....7&p=57&c=&g=72

Rich