Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Copper Beeches (1912)

The only survivor of a series of short Sherlock Holmes films made in the 1910s which were supervised by Arthur Conan Doyle himself! The film stars Georges Treville as Holmes though there is no Dr Watson.

Holmes is bought in by a suspicious governess to investigate why the daughter of her employer has gone missing (she has been locked up in a shed) and why he wants her to look just like his daughter. A plot to deceive and kill the daughter's fiance is revealed.

The film is charming as a period piece though has some serious shortcomings. It is not really a movie but a pantomime performed in front of a camera. Scenes consist of a single shot with no apparent editing. The actors frequently speak (though we can't hear them of course as it is a silent movie) to the camera. Intertitles are also fairly rare and just punctuate major plot points. The film is a real curiosity, worth watching for itself though not a very good Sherlock Holmes film.