film trailers



I’m a diehard Billy Wilder fan, brought up by a mother who absolutely adored film. Along with my brother, I was introduced at an early age by mama to the likes of Hitchcock, Curtis, Mankiewicz, Hawks, Powell and Pressburger, classic filmmakers who visited our home on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, making magic in our living room. Wilder though holds a particularly special place.

We also loved Sherlock Holmes, in his various incarnations, and I know if mama were alive, she would love, absolutely love Sherlock. Thus, it’s quite surprising to me that I have little or no recollection of Wilder’s 1970 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. I watched it recently, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t one of the films featured in our little family film club.

At the time of its release, it was apparently one of Wilder’s less successful films at the box office and most people seem to love or hate it. Among its fans is Mark Gatiss who’s said that it was a ‘template of sorts’ when he was adapting the Sherlock tales with Steven Moffat for the BBC: ‘Every gag, every little annunciation or pause is poised perfectly and, watching it … made me realise that Wilder and [Izzy] Diamond were among the best screenwriters in the world.’ On that we definitely agree.

Anyway, love it hate it, it is an influential film, typically Wilder in some ways. We’ll be reviewing a book inspired by the filming of this overlooked classic, The Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid (Unbound, 2018), and interviewing the author, in August. So, watch this space …

In the meantime, here’s a taster, the film trailer.


See also: Patrick Kincaid review; ‘Meet Patrick Kincaid – The Literary Shed Q&A



Acknowledgements: Mark Gatiss quote from ‘The film that changed my life’, Guardian, 7 November 2010. 

Also of interest: Night Mail (1936), changing the face of British film; A Colour Box by Len Lye (1935); Hitchcock (2012); The Splendour of George Stevens’ Giant (1956). Hitchcock (2012); The Splendour of George Stevens’ Giant (1956)


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