[box cover]

An Evening with Sherlock Holmes

The game is afoot in FocusFilm's new four DVD box-set, An Evening with Sherlock Holmes. Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as the great detective and his easily flustered sidekick, Dr. John Watson, these four classic mysteries, which were thought to be lost forever, are finally available to dedicated followers of 221-B Baker Street. The featured movies are Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942), The Woman in Green (1945), Dressed to Kill (1946), and — our personal favorite — Terror by Night (1946), a glorious hybrid of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. The set also features some extremely rare supplemental material, unearthed from the vaults with such skill that even Holmes himself would be impressed. The goodies include a fascinating on-camera interview with Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the only one he ever gave), theatrical trailers and photo galleries for each of the four films, and an amazing fifteen hours of Sherlock Holmes radio broadcasts, which alone more than justify the purchase of this set. Discerning viewers should be aware: the source prints used for these discs are not in terrific shape — the somewhat scratchy, mono transfers are probably not going to be the ones you use to demo your DVD player to your friends. But the important thing is that these films have survived at all, and for fans of literature's most famous sleuth, An Evening with Sherlock Holmes is a mandatory addition to any DVD library. And does the excellent supplemental material make this package a great value for the money? Why, elementary, dear Watson.
—Joe Barlow



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