Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sherlock Holmes Incident at Victoria Falls|
Actors: Christopher Lee, Patrick Macnee, Claude Akins, Joss Ackland, Jenny Seagrove
Director: Bill Corcoran
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Mystery & Suspense
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Great fun if you're not an uptight Baker Street Irregular
R. C. Walker | Encinitas CA, United States | 12/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the 2nd of 2 very long TV movies/miniseries featuring two wonderful actors: Christopher Lee as Holmes and Patrick Macnee as Watson. (The following year a 3rd, "Sherlock Holmes in New York", promoted Macnee to Holmes.) Like the first, it has faults and virtues, although ultimately weighted on the side of the latter. As a side note, when shown on TV in this country, this film and its companion were each cut by about a quarter-hour.
However loosely - and it's very, very loosely - this film is related to an old Basil Rathbone film, "Terror by Night". This involves transporting a fabulous diamond, the "Star of Rhodesia", with Holmes overseeing security. "Incident at Victoria Falls" also involves a fabulous diamond, the "Star of Africa". This latter is an actual diamond, although much larger than the gem displayed in the film. That was the Cullinan Diamond, over 300 carats (well over a pound!) in the rough. The Cullinan was eventually cut in to 9 large gems and a goodly number of smaller items. These are all now part of the Crown Jewels.
The film's "Star of Africa", already cut and polished, is - like the Cullinan - going to be transported from South Africa to Britain, where it will be presented to Edward VIII. Mycroft Holmes sends his brother Sherlock to provide security with a plan involving a glass duplicate of the "Star". Yeah. You all know how this turns out: we get to play "diamond, diamond, who's got the diamond?" for the next couple of hours. But it's all in good fun, only slightly spoiled by the banality of the script - I found myself on a number of occasions saying the next highly predictable line before the character who had it. On the bright side, we only get a glimpse of Holmes wearing a deerstalker instead of being constantly treated to that particular wardrobe malfunction.
As for the rest of the cast, there are few that would be much recognized on this side of the Pond. As to characters, it will turn out that one of them is a ringer - not really a fair cop, since we're given no clue that there's anything suspicious about him or her. In the cast, several well-known historical names appear ... such as King Edward (played by the estimable Joss Ackland), Lillie Langtree (played by a fine actor, Jenny Seagrove), Theodore Roosevelt (played by the well-known Claude Akins), and Gugliamo Marconi (played by an unknown, Steven Gurney).
The settings for the film are scenic, and the action usually brisk. The train trip from Capetown to Victoria Falls is a lot of fun, enlivened particularly by Claude Akins, who plays Teddy Roosevelt with appropriate and effective swagger and bluster.
The script writers may have assumed the viewer would already know of the relationship between Langtree and Edward VIII - but in any event, this fact never appears in plot or dialogue - not to mention the fact that Ms. Langtree's participation in the story contains elements entirely antithetical to her actual character.
The story takes a number of twists and turns, although Holmes's vade mecum, detection by deduction, sometimes falls by the side of the road. In this respect, the film falls short of the standard set by the great Basil Rathbone ... not to mention the even greater Jeremy Brett.
Well, no film is perfect. This one is a good evening's entertainment, over 3 hours long. While the cast is generally average, Lee and Macnee give the entire film centrality and impetus. The trick here is not to mind the various little problems and go along for the ride. It's a pretty good one, especially the railroad."
Holmes and Roosevelt join forces in a diamond hunt in Africa
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This mini series originaly was four hours long and not the two hours shown here, the American version got dramaticly cut for its showing in the states. I have the privalige of owning the full length versions of both mini series. The show is really fun, taking place in 1910 and Holmes has filed that he is in retirement. Until the king himself demands that Holmes and Watson take a rare diamond to Africa to exchange it to the country. The case involves many entangeled love affairs, false identifaction, lies, and murder. One of the many traits that the film has is its adventure, you might call it the Indiana Jones version of Holmes. Holmes and Watson jumping onto trains, Holmes fighting Lions, Watson falling into booby traps and holmes has to do the rescuing, and the climax takes place in a cave with barried treasure.
Lee's performance as Holmes.
Loaded with historical characters and events.
Holmes and Watson try to stop a locomotive.
And the mystry really has the viewer in suspence all throughout the four hours.
The Train investigation.
The scripting has some holes.
Watson shares some odd replies.
All in all a good Sherlock Holmes film. Five stars!"
RET407 | Clermont, GA USA | 11/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A rollicking adventure played to the hilt by Mr Lee. The plot was a little thin and the lines were slightly predictable, but all in all, still an entertaining movie. Terrific inclusion of characters of the time... such as King Edward, Lillie Langtree, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gugliamo Marconi.
Not like Sherlock Holmes at all but somewhat entertaining
Peter Piper | New Mexico, USA | 02/04/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This film is really not a Sherlock Holmes story at all. It is much more like an Indiana Jones film with Holmes cast into the role of Indiana Jones.
This is not the Sherlock Holmes character that you're used to from the original Holmes stories. Holmes is not the truly sharp-witted detective, one or two steps ahead of every criminal. Instead he more or less stumbles onto solving the mystery. This happens only after a lot of the cast has been murdered - no thanks to Holmes.
Watson is a good-natured bumbler in the mold of Nigel Bruce in Rathbone's Holmes.
Holmes even manages to flirt with women which the 'real' Holmes would never do.
While Christopher Lee does have many good acting roles to his credit, I would say this is not really one of them. Some people seem to like his portrayal but to me he is quite stiff and looks out of character as Sherlock Holmes.
The film does have entertainment value. It is really more of an Indiana Jones-type film. As someone else mentioned, there is no shortage of jumping onto or off of trains, getting attacked by aligators and lions, and searching for lost treasure in an ancient cave.
Some people like the fact that it includes some historical figures such as Teddy Roosevelt. To me this makes the film even more unrealistic. A former US president is traveling by himself through Africa? Roosevelt is also a bit of a buffoon in this film which doesn't ring true.
A few people mentioned that this is a family movie. In fact there are two scenes where characters go off into the bush and are in the process of tearing their clothes off while they make out. This is fairly brief in the course of the entire film, but makes me wonder if people actually saw the long version of the movie.
The film drags a bit in parts. The plot itself has many twists and turns, but at some points hardly makes sense. Not to give it away, but in the final scene you have to wonder, why is the criminal there at all? Why hasn't he taken the goods and absconded much earlier?
By the way, this is actually a TV miniseries which may explain why the production values are not quite up to what you'd expect.
All in all, it's an entertaining, though fairly ridiculous movie. True Sherlock Holmes fans would probably not like it. If you can put up with its flaws you will probably find enough to be entertained by. If you want 'real' Sherlock Holmes you should look elsewhere.