The first film ever made featuring Sherlock Holmes was made in 1900 and had the great title of "Sherlock Holmes Baffled!" It was 30 seconds long, and nobody knows who played Sherlock! From 1905 to 1920, a number of actors tried their hand at the role of Sherlock, like Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, Viggo Larsen, Otto Langoni, Georges
After that, Ellie Norwood was Sherlock Holmes in a series of 48 short films from 1921 to 1923! Right in the middle of all that, in 1922 John Barrymore starred in this full-length feature appropriately called "Sherlock Holmes!"
In 1932, Arthur Wontner took over the lead role in "The Sign Of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case!"
But even though "The Sign Of Four" was Sherlock's greatest case, they had no plans to stop there! Not at all, Sherlock was just getting warmed up! In 1939, the amazing Basil Rathbone took on the role of Sherlock in "The Hound Of The Baskervilles," and continued as Sherlock for the next seven years in an awesome run of titles!
As much as I like all the others, Basil Rathbone will always be my favourite Sherlock Holmes! Just like Sean Connery as James Bond, Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes, and as a bonus, the Basil years also had the coolest posters! End of discussion! This one was from the 1939 film, "The Adventures Of Sherlock Homes!"
In 1942 it was "Sherlock Holmes And The Secret Weapon!" All these Basil Rathbone versions also have the fantastic Nigel Bruce as the never to be underestimated Dr. Watson!
Still another one from 1942 is "Sherlock Holmes And The Voice Of Terror!" Basil and Nigel continue to kick arse all over the place!
The excitement refused to stop! In 1944 Basil was back with the great title, "The Scarlet Claw!"
I love this poster! Also from 1944, Sherlock Holmes in "The Spider Woman!"
Here's the movie that got my Sherlock up again! From 1945, "The Woman In Green," with the wicked Hillary Brooke as every hypnotist's dream come true!
The last film in this killer run of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes films was called "Dressed To Kill," and was released in 1946!
Through the 50's and 60's Sherlock was on the television countless times played by guys with names like Alan Wheatley, Ronald Howard, and Erich Schellow, but there were only like three movies made, "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" in 1959 starring Peter Cushing in the lead role, "Sherlock Holmes And The Deadly Necklace" in 1962 starring Christopher Lee as Sherlock, and this movie, "A Study In Terror," in 1965 starring John Neville as Sherlock! I like this movie, but you can tell by the poster that in a pop culture Batman world, influences are starting to change the way that Sherlock is perceived!
By the 1970's, it became time to have some fun with Sherlock in earnest, and we ended up with titles like this 1970 Billy Wilder film "The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Stephens in the lead role!
Then in 1975, Gene Wilder took Sherlock to the dark side in "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother,"(And it's not Mycroft!) with Douglas (The Brides Of Fu Manchu, The Vengeance Of Fu Manchu) Wilmer as Sherlock!
In the 80's and 90's Sherlock got serious again, with another completely different gang taking on his personality on TV and the big screen like, (Get Ready!) Geoffrey Whitehead, Vasili Livanov, Tom Baker, Guy Henry, Peter O'Toole, Roger Ostime, Larry Moss, and Jeremy Brett, and those are just the guys with multiple performances! in the 2000's Robert Downey Jr. breathed a new life into the role!