Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sherlock Holmes The Sign of Four|
Actors: Arthur Wontner, Isla Bevan, Ian Hunter, Graham Soutten, Miles Malleson
Director: Graham Cutts
Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
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Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 1/10/2011...
A young, beautiful, and on her own Mary Morsten (Isla Bevan) hires Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Wontner) and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson (Ian Hunter) as bodyguards when she's going to a meeting with the thief who got into the safe in her flower shop. The burglar is an escaped killer who is after a treasure that was ripped off by Mary’s father and an accomplice. Mary is kidnapped, so Holmes and Watson search the underside of London to rescue her. Amazing settings include a bar catering to jolly jack jars and a working class fun fare. Wontner is an interesting Holmes: cerebral, urbane, witty, generous. His disguise as an old reprobate sailor is convincing. Hunter’s doctor is suave, a far cry from the bumbling avuncular Watson we barely tolerate in Nigel Bruce’s version. The sound is garbled a couple of times and the accents seem authentic enough to make an American ear have to change gears and listen a little harder for a time. Considering this is an early talkie, I think it stands up quite well and is worth watching for Holmes fans and old movie buffs.
Wonter is amazing!
classics collector | Florida | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've recently discovered Arthur Wonter as Sherlock Holmes thanks to DVDs such as this one. Some of these old movies are in rough shape. Im just happy they exist. Wonter is superb. All of his Holmes films are well worth purchasing. GREAT STUFF!"
Wontner's finest Holmes film - but a terrible DVD transfer
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 12/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The best of Arthur Wontner's Sherlock Holmes films, much of the credit for The Sign of Four is due to Graham Cutts' strong direction and some imaginative cinematography by William Luff and Alan Smith making much atmospheric use of overhead tracking shots. Ian Hunter's Watson is something of a liability, though: closer to Doyle's original vision of the character, he overdoes the interest in the opposite sex something rotten, turning into a virtual walking erection every time the leading lady appears, lasciviously rubbing his hands when he sits near her like a drooling melodrama villain. Amazingly, this technique actually works, as the foolish girl ends up marrying him. Perhaps she didn't get out much. Maybe I should try out the Watson technique myself...
One curious note is the villain's decision to disguise his henchman Roy Emerton by covering him in tattoos - not much use when he wears a suit for the rest of the film. Sadly the public domain DVD takes a bit of effort: although decent prints do exist on UK TV, every expense has been spared for this Region 1 NTSC DVD release, so don't be surprised if you have to rewind to catch the odd line of dialogue thanks to a noisy soundtrack."
Trevor Willsmer | 08/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Sign Of the Four was not the best of the Sherlock Holmes stories with Arthur Wonter. From the start of the movie you knew who the criminal was. Ian Hunter was not a very good Watson. And Johnathan Small was a Master of Disguise not a evil genius. But this was a pretty good film."