“No coaching, please — I work by pure deduction.”
A “paranoiac” (George C. Scott) convinced he’s Sherlock Holmes befriends a psychoanalyst named Dr. Watson (Joanne Newman), and the pair gradually fall in love.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Detectives and Private Eyes
- George C. Scott Films
- Joanne Newman Films
- Mental Illness
- Mistaken or Hidden Identities
- Play Adaptation
- Romantic Comedy
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “uplifting comedy about a brilliant man” takes on “a special dimension” as Woodward’s Dr. Watson “follows Holmes on his adventurous trail through New York City in search of his possibly imaginary Moriarty”, and “begins to believe that he really is Holmes”. He notes that “it becomes irrelevant whether or not [Scott] is Holmes”, given that “we have instead the story of two lonely people who find their ideal companions, who see the grand qualities in each other that no one else is aware of”. He argues that while the film “runs out of steam toward the end” and “has its fill of silly and pretentious moments”, it “is really quite touching” — and he further notes that the “pairing of heavyweights Scott and Woodward is to be treasured”; indeed, it’s challenging to imagine this film being nearly as enjoyable or watchable without its big-name leads, who bring substance and conviction to their “non-conformist” characters. Fine use is made of authentic New York City settings, and Victor Kemper’s atmospheric cinematography perfectly suits the story.
An unexpectedly moving moment: A telephone operator (Theresa Merritt) jeopardizes her job to help an inconsolable young woman (Kitty Winn) locate her suicidal boyfriend.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- George C. Scott as “Holmes”
- Joanne Newman as “Dr. Watson”
- Several unexpectedly touching scenes
- Victor Kemper’s cinematography
- Good use of NYC locales
Yes, as an enjoyable and finely acted cult favorite.