Bizarre, but passable thriller
www.DavidLRattigan.com | United Kingdom | 10/09/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amazon says the film is in colour - I don't know whether this is a mistake, since this was filmed in black-and-white, or whether someone had the bright idea to colourize it.
This is a rather bizarre film, shot in Germany in English, but then redubbed (badly) by American actors. Oddly, then, Hammer horror stalwarts Christopher Lee and Thorley Walters, as Holmes and a very Nigel-Bruceian Watson, are seen but never heard. It has an incongruous, but extremely catchy jazz score by bandleader Martin Slavin.
The film has the look and feel of a 1930s picture, a Charlie Chan or Universal horror - perhaps not surprising, since the screenwriter was Universal veteran Curt Siodmak (The Wolf Man).
It is not what you would expect of Terence Fisher, one of the alltime greatest horror directors, and it is certainly no classic. I must confess, however, I actually enjoyed it, and would watch it again.
It did make me pine for what might have been if Lee had been given the chance to play Holmes in a better film."
H. Q. Goh | Singapore, Singapore | 04/08/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am great fan of Sherlock Holmes and of Christopher Lee. I regret buying this DVD - th B&W movie looks all washed out - the dubbing is comically bad and the voices - to rob Christopher Lee of his voice - borders on the criminal.
I could not even finish watching it - its that bad!
Don't buy this - even if you are a fan of the Great Detective."
Jason Johnston | Astoria,NY | 07/10/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"i bought this based on the sherlock holmes interest i have had since a kid and also because christopher lee was in it..but its a real stinker,dubbed awfully,to the point that even christopher lee admitted that it wasnt his voice used in the end product! a total waste of money and time,save your pennies,badly done all round...even christopher lee's later tv reincarnation of sherlock holmes was much better,incident at victoria falls and another.."
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Horror maestro Christopher Lee played Mycroft Holmes and Sir Henry Baskerville, but was hardly ever seen as the great Sherlock. That was in "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace," a solid enough mystery with some very nice acting, beautiful sets... and really wretched dub work.
An informant of Sherlock Holms (Lee) totters up to his doorstep, and dies after gasping a cryptic message. Holmes and Watson (Thorley Walters) follow his message to the pub where Professor Moriarty (Hans Söhnker) is staying, and overhear Moriarty plotting a murder and a theft -- of an astounding necklace found in the tomb of Cleopatra.
They rush to a country estate to save the paranoid lord-of-the-manor, only to arrive too late -- the necklace is gone, and the man himself is dead. Now Holmes must infiltrate Moriarty's home to steal back the necklace, and get it to the auction before Moriarty can steal it back.
"Deadly Necklace" is definitely a mixed bag, as a Sherlock Holmes movie goes -- we have the basics of a Holmes movie, and some of them are really amazing. But often, it feels like Terence Fisher is directing on autopilot, leaving it to Christopher Lee to keep the movie afloat.
There are some wonderfully quick-moving subplots, such as the question of who shot the guy in the castle, buried clothes, and bloody footprints. Alas, many other parts of the movie are either plodding or confusing, which can be fatal to a mystery story. The park-bench scene with Moriarty and Holmes is a perfect example -- it feels like it was crammed in to take up some extra time. It really has nothing to do with the plot, and could have been cut without any effect.
Lee is a simply magnificent Holmes, and perhaps the best "one off" Holmes I've ever seen. He comes across as intelligent without having to work at it, and still tough enough to kick through an oak door. Thorley Walters makes a likably bumbly Watson, and provides a good thought-bouncer for Lee, but Söhnker makes a very hammy Moriarty. Not an ounce of menace, and the scene where he runs from Holmes is unintentionally funny.
And what about the infamous dubbing? Well, it's really bad. Lee's rich baritone is covered by someone who sounds like he's doing a Christopher Lee impersonation, sometimes sounding American (and when undercover, swishy). Even stranger, there's a hollow echo effect whenever anyone speaks. It sounds like the dubbing was done in a giant bathroom. As the final indignifty, they tack on a fluffy jazz soundtrack that doesn't match the setting.
There are some deep, intense flaws in "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace," but even with a dubbed voice Christopher Lee carries the film with rare style. Watch for his performance, if no other reason."