Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sherlock Holmes Revisited

Even if you’ve never read any of the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, chances are you recognize the name Sherlock Holmes. In fact, the name probably conjures images of deerstalker hats, magnifying glasses, curved pipes, and maybe a choice phrase, like “Elementary my dear Watson.”

But the new Sherlock Holmes movie to be released on Christmas Day holds little in common with that cocaine-addicted brainiac of old. Robert Downey Jr. is an action-hero Holmes, complete with mad fighting skills, love scenes and explosions never imagined by the character’s creator.

But the filmmakers insist that their movie is closer to original stories than it appears. The original Holmes had experience in baritsu, swordplay and gunfighting. Furthermore, the long-suffering sidekick, Dr. Watson, was not the bumbling, clueless assistant as popularly believed. (Jude Law as Watson fights alongside the new movie Holmes.)

Members of The Diogenes Club of Dallas, a local Sherlockian society, told me they are looking forward to the movie if for no other reason than it will reignite interest in the original Sherlock Holmes stories and the pastiches that followed, both in print and in film. (Members of the society will be discussing the movie and all other things Holmesian at the Northeast Branch Library on January 9.)

As a librarian, I love movies that are based on books, especially if the film encourages reading. In fact, here’s a list of recommended titles that can be found at Arlington Public Library. (This is in no way a complete list!)

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
by Laurie King

The Empress of India: A Professor Moriarty novel
by Michael Kurland

The Return of Sherlock Holmes
DVD Collection
Jeremy Brett as Holmes

So what’s next in the Sherlock Holmes lexicon? A comedy film starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes and Will Ferrell as Watson is in the works, and the makers of this year’s Holmes are looking to make a sequel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I noticed on my netflix last night that they had uploaded TONS of Sherlock Holmes versions (movies, tv shows) to their streaming video. :)