Long Before Downey Jr. There Was Gillette: Lost Holmes Movie Has Been Unearthed

'Sherlock Holmes' movie found at Cinémathèque Française (image: William Gillette in 'Sherlock Holmes') Sherlock Holmes, a long-thought-lost 1916 feature starring stage performer and playwright William Gillette in the title role, has been discovered in the vaults of the Cinémathèque Française. Directed by the all-but-forgotten Arthur Berthelet for the Chicago-based Essanay production company, the approximately 90-minute movie is supposed to be not only the sole record of William Gillette's celebrated performance as Arthur Conan Doyle's detective, but also the only surviving Gillette film.* In the late 19th century, William Gillette himself wrote the play Sherlock Holmes, which turned out to be a mash-up of various stories and novels featuring the detective, chiefly the short stories "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Final Problem." ("May I marry Holmes?" Gillette, while vying for the role, telegraphed Conan Doyle. The latter replied, "You may marry or murder or do What you like with him.
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