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Private Life of Sherlock Holmes DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alex Larman, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. Alex Larman

    Alex Larman Auditioning

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    My first post, and a worthy subject: does anyone know if MGM are going to be releasing a port of their excellent laserdisc SE of this film? I'm a bit surprised they haven't yet done so, given their past record for re-releasing older films.
     
  2. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    I can only forlornly hope that any delay in releasing this on DVD has to do with another effort by MGM in trying to locate the still missing parts of the original intended director's cut. The LD offered a wonderful tantalizing glimpse of what might have been and it's a shame that a full restoration to the original length wasn't possible (at this point, the discovery of the footage for the "Upside Down Room" segment to match the soundtrack would be great).
    At any rate though, I doubt very much that any DVD would duplicate the isolated score feature of the LD given how MGM appears to have a strict policy against offering isolated scores now. So even when a DVD comes out I'll probably have to retain my LD for that reason alone.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    Robert Harris
    A superb film from Mr. Wilder.
    Unfortunately, this would seemingly be a "been there,
    done that" situation.
    A number of years ago, the incredibly talented Ron Haver
    attempted a search of element in which I became tangentially
    entangled.
    He was able to locate some picture...
    but without track.
    And some track...
    but without picture.
    The entire situation was not helped by the fact that
    Mr. Wilder's office at Goldwyn was wiped out by fire,
    taking with it all of his files.
    I'm one of those who would stick around to watch Mr. Wilder
    direct the phone book.
    PLoSH may well have been a modern masterpiece.
    A bit more research may be in order.
    RAH
     
  4. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Indeed more research would be needed, though thankfully the supplements on the LD included a copy of the original Wilder shooting script so if any more footage is ever found we'll at least know what order it was supposed to go in.
    The footage no track for the "Naked Honeymooners" segment offered the only glimpse of Wilder's original vision of Dr. Watson's grandson (also played by Colin Blakely) reading his grandfather's journal with the accounts of each of the four cases depicted in the film (an establishing shot showing the diary before the action moves onboard ship). The track only for the "Upside Down Room" sequence demonstrated some other clever uses by Miklos Rozsa in adapting his Violin Concerto to the score (the section from the Concerto's first movement that he used for the moment when Watson decides to walk out on Holmes because he won't give up cocaine is quite effective) as well as some original cues for the room and the comical moment when Inspector Lestrade is hung upside down and left in that position.
    Amazingly enough, when it came time to prune the film down to two segments instead of four, they chose to retain the weakest one of all (the Russian ballerina one) while jettisoning two stronger ones.
     
  5. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    I spoke to Glenn Erickson (who used to be MGM's Savant and a fountain of knowledge on all things cinema) about the status of this film around a year ago.
    It turns out that not only is the extra footage and corresponding audio tracks missing, but even if it were recovered Mr Wilder is totally against revisiting his would-be masterpiece as, if memory serves, he views it as somewhat of a failure.
    Walter Mirisch who helped finance/produce the picture agrees with Mr Wilder and given their joint standing in Hollywood I unfortunately doubt we'll see a revised cut of this picture in either of their lifetimes, unless of course the footage is recovered and they change their minds - but don't forget that Mr Wilder is in his mid 90's and therefore unfortunately unlikely to do so.
    If Mr Harris would have any lee-way in persuading either of these two parties to change their minds, I'm sure it would be of great benefit to all, if the footage turned up, as it is a masterpiece.
    Regards to all
    MA
     
  6. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    If the film is beyond restoring, I would love to see the existing version released on DVD in 16:9 enhanced wide screen sometime soon.
    ------------------
    Derek M. Germano
    THE CINEMA LASER
    DVD reviews, news and more...
    www.thecinemalaser.com
     

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