Category Archives: Detective

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) – A Curious Case For Sherlock Fans…


The Great Detective was a drug addict. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote him that way, and it is a fact central to Sherlock Holmes lore, which has created a thorny issue for many a filmmaker in adapting Doyle’s canonical series of stories. It is a fact that cannot be ignored – The Sign of Four opens with a lengthy scene of Holmes shooting up morphine. Even Basil Rathbone, the first truly iconic portrayal of Holmes, found the subject a bit sticky – his triumphant call for the needle at the end of The Hound of the Baskervilles invoked the wrath of the draconian Hays Code.

Even the most recent adaptation, Mark Gatiss’ shit hot BBC series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which so successfully brought Holmes into the 21st century with its seamless appropriation of smartphones and blogging, was notably coy about the issue until the third series. It took until the third episode of the third series for the creators to fully acknowledge Holmes’ dabbling with hard drugs, with Watson accidentally rumbling Holmes in a shooting gallery. Then screenwriters and actors bashfully tip-toed around the subject for five minutes, treating it as a comic episode, then the issue was forgotten as the plot hastily resumed.

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Guest Review: Mr Holly on Clue (1985)


If Clue was a hot beverage, it would be Bovril. Enjoyed by a certain generation; forgotten about by others. Based on the Hasbro board game, this ninety four-minute murder mystery, set in New England, 1954, centers around the popular family favorite, Cluedo.

Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) plays stereotypical British butler, Wadsworth, tending to a selection of unacquainted guests at a dinner party. Each guest arrives under a pre-allocated pseudonym, corresponding to characters from the game. As the plot unfolds, a mysterious character with more hair grease than an acne-ridden teenager – Mr. Body – is introduced.  True to the game, all the traditional weapons are presented as Body’s plan seemingly unfolds, entwining the characters in a web of blackmail and murder where everyone is a potential suspect.

The picture  unfortunately descends  in to a ‘whogivesas**t” rather than a ‘whodunnit’ movie, with more substandard gags than a ‘Carry On’ box-set that overpower the well-written story. As the body count rose, so too did my eyebrows.  Both sexist and homophobic remarks between characters cause the film to appear as out-of-date as Grandma’s flowery cardigan.

This clever concept is let down by a scatty ending. With more turns than a Peruvian mountain road, it becomes extremely hard to follow late on. On the plus side however – set in the 50’s, some clever touches include a reference to contemporary U.S. domestic policy (Macarthyism/Cold War etc.) and multiple ending options on the DVD release.

Performance of the film – With a young, energetic display that does not compare to the rest of his filmography, this is by phaal a substandard performance by Curry. Nonetheless, it beats the rest.

Quote of the film – “I…am…your singing telegram…”

Fact of the film – Cluedo was created in Birmingham, England by a solicitor’s clerk in 1949. The only discrepancy’s between the film and the game  is that Mr. Green  was actually a reverend in the UK version.  Mrs White was also the cook.

Score/Soundtrack – Some nice songs from the era, such as James Keyes’ Sh-Boom, and C. Calhoun’s Shake, Rattle and Roll. Nothing to write home about.


Cluedo or Cluedon’t, take it or leave it. 49/100

(Last watched 7 hours ago. Review by Mr Holly and Fuzzy.)


The Maltese Falcon (1941) – Small in Scope, Big on Influence…


The Maltese Falcon‘s legacy is far greater than the film itself, and its influence is far and wide.  Without John Huston’s first feature, regarded as the original film noir, Blade Runner would look very different, and there would be no Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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Peter Falk Double Bill: Murder By Death (1976) & The Cheap Detective (1978)…


“The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940.  She said she was going out to get a bottle of wine.  Two hours later, the Germans marched into France…”

Peter Falk’s film career spanned five decades, and was universally loved for his most famous role, the shabby, nicotine-stained detective Columbo.  In the Seventies, he starred in two comedies by prolific playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, spoofing Hammett’s Sam Spade, and Humphrey Bogart.

Murder By Death sends up the traditional Cluedo style whodunnit, as mysterious millionaire Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) invites five of the world’s greatest criminologists to his manor for dinner and a murder.

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The Long Goodbye (1973): A New Era, and Trouble is Still Marlowe’s Business…

“The ideal mystery was one you would read if the end was missing.” Raymond Chandler  wrote, discussing the mechanics of pulp mystery writing.  It was something he believed.

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