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Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes

Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace
Sherlock Holmes et le Collier de la Mort / Sherlock Holmes: La Valle del Terrore / Valley of Fear

West Germany/France/Italy 1962
produced by
Artur Brauner, Wolf Brauner (executive) for CCC Filmkunst, Critérion Film, Incei Film, Constantin Film
directed by Terence Fisher
starring Christopher Lee, Thorley Walters, Hans Söhnker, Senta Berger, Hans Nielsen, Ivan Desny, Leon Askin, Wolfgang Lukschy, Bruno W. Pantel, Edith Schultze-Westrum, Bernard La Jarrige, Linda Sini, Heinrich Gies, Roland Armontel, Max Strassberg, Danielle Argence, Waldemar Frahm, Rena Horten (as Renate Hutte), Franco Giacobini, Pierre Gualdi, Kurt Hain, Waldemar Prahm, Corrado Annicelli
screenplay by Curt Siodmak, somehow based on the novel Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle, music by Martin Slavin

Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Lee), Sherlock Holmes in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Lee) is going against his old enemy, Moriarty (Hans Söhnker) again, who somehow tries to get his hands on one Peter Blackburn (Wolfgang Lukschy), who in turn has his hands on the necklace of Cleopatra … but when Hlmes tries to come to his rescue, it already seems to be too late, as Blackburn hs already been killed and his wife (Senta Berger) and her lover (Ivan Desny) turn out to be the prime suspects … thing is, Holmes doesn’t believe the dead man is really Blackburn, and no he isn’t, he tried to fake his own death to lead Moriarty of his trail. But Moriarty is more resourceful than anyone has thought, has trailed Blackburn o his hiding place and has killed him all the same. But somehow, Blackburn manages to tell the hiding place of the necklace to Holmes exclusively – interestingly a sarcophagus already in Moriarty’s possession.

Holmes however manages to steal the necklace and hand it over to Scotland Yard, who then want to auction it off … but on the way to the auction house, the necklace is stolen, by Moriarty’s men and – Sherlock Holes, disguised as a poor sailor, who sees to it that Moriarty’s men are handed over to justice and the necklace is handed over to the auctioneer .. but somehow, Moriarty manages to escape justice once again …

Thorley Walters plays Sherlock Holmes' faithful sidekick Doctor Watson in this one

 


When Rialto had tremendous success with its Edgar Wallace-series in Germany, German company CCC-Filmkunst made several attempts to jump the bandwagon, one of these being a (German) Sherlock Holmes-series, starring Christopher Lee and directed by Terence Fisher, who recently also collaborated on Hammer’s Sherlock Holmes-adaptation Hound of the Baskervilles (even if Lee wasn’t Holmes in this one). While this earlier film was a recognized classic though that effortlessly married the well-known story to Hammer’s gothics both in style and in storytelling, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, in parts based on Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes-story Valley of Fear, is decidedly less than special, just your routine German murder mystery (or krimi, if you may), with its typically over-convoluted, over-complicated and far-fetched plot that's always a tad on the silly side, with director Fisher bringing none of his usual visual flair to the film. 

That said, if you don't expect another Hound of the Baskervilles and like German krimis from the 1960's for all their shortcomings, you'll probably be entertained nevertheless.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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written by
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