MovieChat Forums > The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) Discussion > Parlor psychology undoes the Sherlock my...

Parlor psychology undoes the Sherlock mystique


I hated this movie for mucking up the Sherlock Holmes legend.

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[deleted]

Of course he was but that Freudian bit about seeing his mother committing adultery with Moriarty was just too much. With Moriarty as villain out of the picture, what does do to the whole Conan Doyle series?

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Actually, with Moriarty out of the picture, it does very little to overall series, given that he was only invented in the first place as an excuse for Conan Doyle to kill off his most famous character. In a way, the alternate events described in this movie and the book it's based on make more sense than the idea of a master criminal who Holmes conveniently never happened to mention prior his introduction in "The Final Problem," and then who dies before the end of the very same story. So the public loses their perception of Moriarty as Holmes' arch nemesis, but it matters very little to the stories, since he only features prominently in that single adventure, and then is only mentioned in passing a few times afterwards.

Anyway, "The Seven Per-Cent Solution" wasn't written by Conan Doyle, so it can't be considered an official part of the Holmes' canon, so I don't see how it can be that irksome to you. I see it as just a fun bit of speculation that offers some fairly plausible explanations for why Holmes is as he is.

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Remember, the convention implied at the end is that Watson created the idea of Moriarty as a criminal mastermind, based on Holmes' suggestion and previous paranoia/obsession. Since Watson is the narrator of the stories, you could assume that he concocted the whole of The Final Problem, rather than recounted the events of a real case. Within Meyer's novels (he wrote 3), there is a bit of continuity. While Homes is "dead", he earns a living as a violinist, in the Paris Opera House, where he becomes involved in the strange events that form the plot of The Phantom of the Opera, as related in Meyer's The Canary Trainer. The second book was The West End Horror, which centers around gilbert and Sullivan, with a young George Bernard Shaw along for the tale.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."-Groucho

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Moriarty is mentioned in The Valley of Fear, one of the Holmes novellas written by Conan Doyle, as the mastermind if a murder. So it's not the case that he appeared only in "The Final Problem."

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The idea that his behavior with women and pursuit of justice attributed to his mom's infidelity was originally theorized by William Barring-Gould in his pseudo-bio "Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street" (q.v.); further other writers and critics have assumed this same rationale. Meyer makes attribution of this in his original novel.

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actually its one of many many volumes not Doyle created that offers up other non-canonic views on various debated topics regarding the Master! See also Barring-Gould's book "Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street", the film The Private Live of Sherlock Holmes, Nicholas Meyer's two other Holmes and Watson publishings, "the West End Horror" and "The Canary Trainer", not to mention the additional continuations by Doyle's son Adrian C. Doyle.

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actually its one of many many volumes not Doyle created that offers up other non-canonic views on various debated topics regarding the Master!
Yes, there's heaps of stuff out there.

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I hated this movie for mucking up the Sherlock Holmes legend.
Yea Gods...the "legend's" pretty musty and stale, now.

It's generous of artists to be borrowing and reinterpreting these stock characters at this point (even as it was here, in 1976!)

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I don't mind take-offs from the Sherlock Holmes detective sub-genre. Some of them are pretty good like The Young Sherlock (1985), BBC's Sherlock and CBS' Elementary. I even like the spoofs of Holmes such as Michael Caine's Without a Clue and Gene Wilder's Sherlock Holmes Older Brother. In other words, I prefer a buffoonish Sherlock rather than a pathetic Holmes as in this movie.

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Get used to it. The Sherlock Holmes stories are in the public domain, so anybody can write a Holmes story without violating copyright.

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