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The Sherlock Holmes Vault Collection Is A Classic Film Treat


Here Comes Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is an enduring character and of course it all started with the stories which have been followed by any number of stories written by other authors over the many years since the originals were published. But Arthur Conan Doyle's character continues to thrive in the hearts and minds of those not just in great Britain or America but throughout the world. The fact is that Sherlock Holmes has been around for a long time and he's going to be around for even longer – – there have been movies and TV shows featuring the original character in unique situations; there have been altered movies of the character in different situations; there have been offshoots of the characters having change gender and characters created out of whole cloth that just had a touchstone to Holmes.

So it’s no wonder that with so much content available that there would be intriguing examples that have been out of they public’s eye for many years. Make that 30, 40 years or more. And rather than having to catch a late night showing on TV where scenes have been butchered to toss in commercials, or the occasional (once) midnight showing at theaters, having a box set of these intriguing examples makes for easy viewing. Because the best thing about The Sherlock Holmes Vault Collection is that they are physical discs that will never be cut up or “retired” from streaming. And because of what we are about to discuss having been remastered/restored and, even more importantly, incorporated on Blu-ray in high definition, is that the quality and resolution of black and white films easily reaches the visual quality that was had in theater since now the video source devices (i.e., Blu-ray players) and video viewers (i.e., HD TVs) can restore to the eye what was once seen.


The First Two Discs Give You Movies and Bonus Features

As stated, the Sherlock Holmes Vault Collection consists of 4 discs — each having a full length film — but also a wealth of additional content pertaining to Holmes. Starting with disc 1, The Fatal Hour (1931/Arthur Wontner) wherein Holmes takes on a criminal enterprise believed to be run by the infamous Professor Moriarty. Additions here include an essay, commentary track, 2 shorts from A Black Sherlock Holmes and part one of the featurette The Adventures of Sam Sherman. The final addition (or bonus if you will) on the disc is a recreated Sherlock Holmes broadcast (those looking for the Holmes radio broadcasts featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce need look elsewhere — try googling this or “Blue Coal” which was the sponsor).

Moving on to disc 2 you get Wontner again in 1935’s The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes, which is based on the Doyle story, The Valley of Fear (written in 1915, btw). Additional content here consists of, again, an essay and commentary track, as well as part two of The Adventures of Sam Sherman. But also included is The Copper Breeches from 1912. The extras round out with the 1954 TV episode Blind Man’s Bluff.


Ditto For Discs 3 and 4

Disc 3 finds Wontner again in 1937’s Sliver Blaze (based on Doyle’s The Adventure of Silver Blaze written in the late 1800’s), along with an essay and commentary track. The third and final part for The Adventures of Sam Sherman now appear, along with a Felix the Cat cartoon titles Sure Luck Holmes. The last addition is the 1913 film Cousins of Sherlocko.

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The fourth and final disc finds A Study in Scarlet with Reginald Owen from 1933. This is not based off of the Doyle story of the same name and features a secret society. As now expected there is an essay and commentary track added on, but also an original production called Elementary Cinema by (love this name) Ballyhoo Motion Pictures. The final addition to this disc is Slick Sleuths, a Mutt and Jeff cartoon that few now remember (they were a long running popular American newspaper comic strip created in 1907, considered the first daily comic strip and dealt with the adventures of “two mismatched tinhorns”).


For those whose only contact with Holmes has been Universal’s versions from the 1940s, these films and the added content will be most welcome. Plus reproductions of the original movie posters are included for each disc. For more details go to

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