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
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
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(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.
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 …
plays Sherlock Holmes' faithful sidekick Doctor Watson in this one
When Rialto had tremendous success with
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
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.