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Starring William Gillette, Majorie Kay and Ernest Maupain
May 19, 1916
Essanay (V-L-S-E) has made a seven-part feature of "Sherlock Holmes" that should have a very strong call from exhibitors and "make good" with picture patrons. Added to this, the name of William Gillette as the star makes for an ideal combination "on form." The "form" is lived up to by the scenario made by H.B. Sheldon, the cast selected, the direction, and the detail - all of which appears to have been given intelligent and careful consideration. For instance, the double doors on hotel rooms in a continental hotel, portieres on the inside of doors in an English house, the baggage rack on the top of a London cab, etc. It seems a pity to have to find a flaw in any of the detail, but as so many things are to be commended, one criticism shouldn't be objected to. In order to create a fire in the home where Mary (sic) Faulkner is kept prisoner so she may become alarmed and reveal the hiding place of the letters upon which the plot hinges, the butler throws over an oil lamp. No London town house used lamps in the Holmes days, and if this one did, there should have been evidence of other lamps about the remainder of the residence. But the going to all the trouble of securing a good imitation of the exterior of Holmes' house in Baker Street, London, is alone sufficient to "stand off" the lamp faux pas. Then again, the assembly has been done with much more care than is usually devoted to this important part of a feature. The scenarios creates suspense within the first very few minutes and never lets up, not even for comedy, throughout the seven reels. It is intensely gripping and interesting carrying with it the bare outline of the love of Holmes for Miss Faulkner, and studiously avoiding any reference to Mr. Holmes' addiction to the needle. While all of the parts are well played, the one standing out strongest, next to the star, is that Moriarty as portrayed by Ernest Maupin (sic). The picture is so good it would hold interest if called by any other name and without starring Mr. Gillette.
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