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Sherlock Holmes

Young Sherlock Holmes

Release Date: December 4, 1985

The place is London, the year 1870, and it is a few weeks before Christmas. A pudgy boy in an ill-fitting suit nervously nibbling a custard tart is on his way to a new school. John H. Watson (Alan Cox) is a country lad not at ease in the big city. In the dormitory of the imposing school, his eyes are drawn to the figure and unpleasant caterwauling of a lanky boy playing a violin quite horribly. He begins to introduce himself, but the other boy interrupts him and proceeds to give him an accurate account of Watson's interests and family back­ground. This impressive feat of deduction impresses the future Dr. Watson. In fact, he has met the young Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe).

In Young Sherlock Holmes, the two young companions are thrust into their first crimino­logical adventure, the commencement of a trail that would in time make them legend. The Amblin Entertainment film centers around the mysterious deaths of some distinguished, elderly Londoners. Among the victims is a batty old professor at the school who has been obsessed with the idea of flying in a Heath Robinson-style machine of his own invention. The professor's beautiful niece Elizabeth Hardy (Sophie Ward) joins Holmes and Watson in the search for clues to the heinous crimes. Their quest will take them deep into the arcane recesses of Victorian London and to the headquarters of a sinister religious cult led by a mysterious figure who will plague Holmes and Watson throughout their distinguished careers.

Barry Levinson proved a particularly unique choice to direct Young Sherlock Holmes, following on the heels of his character-based dramas Diner and The Natural. The film was produced by Mark Johnson (along with producer Henry Winkler, indeed, the famed television actor) who had collaborated with Levinson on his previous two features. Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Steven Spielberg served as executive producers. The screenplay for Young Sherlock Holmes was written by Chris Columbus, by now no stranger on Amblin films, having written both Gremlins and The Goonies.

A cast of seasoned British character actors including Susan Fleetwood, Freddie Jones, Nigel Stock, Roger Ashton Griffiths, Brian Oulton, Donald Eccles, Patrick Newell and Earl Rhodes, join Rowe, Cox and Ward on the adventure.

Young Sherlock Holmes is also notable for featuring the first appearance of a humanoid figure created entirely in CGI in a live-action feature film (a particularly dangerous stained glass knight), and for including a post-credits coda not to be missed—decades before the recent franchise film trend of such teaser scenes coming right at curtain's close.

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • NICHOLAS ROWE,
  • ALAN COX,
  • SOPHIE WARD,
  • ANTHONY HIGGINS,
  • SUSAN FLEETWOOD,
  • FREDDIE JONES,
  • NIGEL STOCK
DIRECTOR
  • BARRY LEVINSON
SCREENWRITER
  • CHRIS COLUMBUS, BASED ON THE CHARACTERS OF ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
PRODUCERS
  • MARK JOHNSON,
  • HENRY WINKLER,
  • KATHLEEN KENNEDY,
  • FRANK MARSHALL,
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • STEPHEN GOLDBLATT
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
  • NORMAN REYNOLDS
COSTUME DESIGNER
  • RAYMOND HUGHES
EDITOR
  • STU LINDER
COMPOSER
  • BRUCE BROUGHTON