Since it will be quite a while before we get new episodes of “SherlocK” and while Elementary is not bad I’m not a big fan of Dr. Watson’s sex change I present for your approval the first of an occasional series of Saturday Night Sherlock Holmes movies, starting with the 1935 classic. The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes. staring Arthur Wonther in the title role, Ian fleming as Dr. Watson and Lyn Harding as James Moriarty

Enjoy

I speak to author Ann Margaret Lewis at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

Her website is here Her twitter page is here

faustaby Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Back when other middle school girls were reading Nancy Drew, I discovered Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes books and became a life-long fan.

They used to play Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes movies on TV when I lived in Puerto Rico, back in the days when TV sets had no remotes, so I watched those, too, even when Holmes (Basil) verbally abused Watson (played by Nigel Bruce) in the likes of:

Nigel: How did you solve that, Holmes?
Basil: It was elementary [snotty/condescending explanation follows]
Nigel: I see! Even a child could have solved it!
Basil (sneers): Not your child, Watson.

I’m a moderate, low-key, FaceBook-type fan; not one that joins Sherlock Holmes fan clubs (I did take a Holmes-themed walking tour of London years ago) or remembers much trivia, but a fan all the same. In addition to having read all the Conan Doyle books, over the years I’ve watched several Sherlock incarnations, including Michael Caine in an awful movie aptly named Without a Clue to Robert Downey Jr.’s martial arts Sherlock. The supreme, definitive, Sherlock is Jeremy Brett, who was able to develop his character over the years and whose Sherlock lived in nicely-appointed Eduardian lodgings.

So last night I thought I’d watch CBS’s Elementary. Its Sherlock lives in modern squalor (inexplicably he has a $10,000 Viking range but his walls need paint), the plot didn’t exactly grab me, and my room needed tidying up so I watched while doing light housework. The suspect responsible for some deadly Anthrax poisonings turned out to be some dude with “extreme radical leanings. . . They hate the government, including the NYPD, but they’re big fans of violence and the Second Amendment.”

Now, in my ripe old age I know propaganda when I see it: A love of violence is equal to a love for one article of the Bill of Rights, because guns. It was 15 minutes or so into the show, and in my ripe old age I don’t waste time turning off the TV, either.

Bye-bye, Elementary.

Over the pond, where they have very restrictive gun laws, Sherlock (whose apartment is a museum of ugly wallpaper) is packing heat, big time.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

 

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Sherlock Holmes: People have died.

Jim Moriarty: [shouting] That’s what people do!

Sherlock The Great Game 2010

Jim Moriarty: STAYING ALIVE!!! SO BORING, ISN’T IT??!! Just staying…all my life I’ve been looking for distraction. You were the best of distraction and now I don’t even have you. Because I’ve beaten you. And you know what? In the end, it was easy. Yeah…t’was easy…now I have to go back to play with the ordinary people.

Sherlock The Reichenbach Fall 2012

A few days ago I got an e-mail from Joy McCann about a new blog she had called Tea Cozy Mysteries and the current post is on the plethora of new Sherlock Holmes series/movies out there, the best of which is the BBC’s Sherlock that I quote above.

Today Cynthia Yockey argues against gun free zones and their danger and makes a point that needs making

Most mass murderers include suicide in their attack plan. This fact is extremely useful in preventing mass murders and reducing the death toll of those that occur. Why? Because we need to accelerate the killer’s scenario for the circumstances in which he has planned to kill himself. Isn’t that always when the armed responders have arrived and he’s cornered? That’s why we need plenty of civilians in schools, universities, churches, theaters and shopping malls who have concealed carry permits, weapons and the skill to use them. The sooner there’s return fire, the sooner the suicide is triggered and the killing stops. In addition, I predict that there will be a tipping point when there are enough people with guns and concealed carry permits that would-be mass murderers won’t like their odds and will give up on their plans.

This is a powerful argument for my school protection plan but it raises an important point.

People have talked a lot about the various psychological roots of killers such as the one in Ct. When these events occur the question is asked over and over again: What was in their mind? What drove them? What did they have inside them that took them over the edge? What made them so bored, so in need of distraction so void of purpose that they see no point in “Saying Alive” or any moral imperative in not ending the lives of others?

Strangely enough I find the answer to this question in…MeTV

About two years ago MeTV. Memorable Entertainment Television joined the ranks of the hundreds of TV networks out there. Locally there is a Boston and a New Hampshire version in my cable package and they show a vast collection of shows from the 50 thru the 80.

I’ve been looking at the shows from the 50’s and early 60’s such as Daniel Boone, Donna Reed, Gunsmoke, the Big Valley, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, The Rifleman, Star Trek and Hogan’s Heroes.

Television was still fairly young and these programs influenced the culture if you don’t believe it ask Russell Johnson how many time he was told by people their move toward science started with the Professor, how many people thought of space sciences after seeing Mr. Scott or how many young people today see NCIS and think Law enforcement & forensics or the Big Bang Theory and think Physics & science.

But there were other values reinforced, honor, the virtue of hard work, perseverance, respect particularly for women and the role of faith in life.

In short they reinforced a moral base, the Judeo-Christian Cultural moral base and the values it advanced.

Now two generations later after that most narcissistic generation, the baby boomers banished the values of their parents from schools and TV and our popular culture by people like the Metal Group Lamb Of God, whose lyrical themes are described in Wikipedia: They frequently use biblical references, but often convey anti-religious sentiment was shocked SHOCKED by their absense:

a disturbing number of concertgoers made noise, talked and generally disrupted the otherwise peaceful moment.

That moment being a requested moment of silence for the dead in Newtown

I am so disgusted right now- if you were one of those who wouldn’t shut up for SIXTY LOUSY SECONDS to honor twenty MURDERED CHILDREN- go look in the mirror. You are looking at a piece of sh**.

Your parents are obviously pieces of sh** too, because they raised you to behave with no dignity.

Dignity? Dignity is defined by culture, the culture of dignity has been rejected by many like yourself and replaced by the one where mainline online magazines defend sex with Donkeys.

The truth is very simple, one of the things that Christianity and the Judeo Christian Culture provides is a society that has positive values. That individuals and institutions haven’t always lived up to those values doesn’t make the values any less valid than a corrupt cop means the police should be disbanded.

For the last 50 years our media, our pop culture and those celebrated by both have told us over and over again how the Judeo-Christian culture that was once the norm has led to oppression and held people back. Those who have for generations urged and promoted its abandonment for the sake of narcissism now are shocked that young people with no center, no faith and no culture that reinforced those positive values are so anxious to kill themselves either on their own or via suicide by notoriety?

People are talking about how first person shooters may have an influence on people, violent lyrics, suicide wishes, misogynistic rap, and more has on the culture today. Obviously if these things alone were the root cause of this type of stuff we would have more shootings then we do, but for some who are weak or disturbed or in despair Judeo-christian values provided a cultural firewall that can help restrain those who need restraining, even if you don’t buy the underlying religion behind it.

Marx once said that religion was the opiate of the masses, even if you don’t believe in religion in general or Christianity in particular I think a stronger dose of this opiate might have done some real good here.

I think Cynthia Yockey’s point above is very valid, but wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t? Wouldn’t it be better if we had a culture where the very thought of suicide among youth, let alone suicide coupled with mass murder wasn’t even on the table?

I submit and suggest that the return of those values represent a greater horror to those baby boomers leading our culture, crying for the disarmament of all but their bodyguards, than the shootings in Newtown ever will.

They will accept gladly inflict a new generation of Moriarty wannabes than admit their parents were right.

My review of the 1937 film adaption of the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Silverblaze staring Arthur Wontner as Holmes is available at Amazon.com here.

This movie is available for viewing online at IMDB here but the quality is very low, if you would rather not purchase it but want to see it Netflix has a much better copy available.

You will note that the title is different than the review, that is because the US release took place AFTER the release of Basil Rathbone’s Hound of the Baskervilles. This was done to take advantage of a favorable box office.

Take a look at this excerpt from Loder’s review of the new movie:

Ritchie’s pandering to the action audience (an agenda no doubt reinforced by knock-’em-dead producer Joel Silver) strips Holmes’ world of its style. The director and his production designer, Sarah Greenwood, have taken considerable pains to conjure the dark cobbled streets and plush interiors of Victorian London — as shot by Philippe Rousselot, this is often a great-looking movie. But the sense of prickly wit and gracious restraint that was translated to the screen so well by the old Holmes films — with their indelible performances by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Watson — is buried in the over-amped frenzy of this new picture. The only real mystery here is how anyone involved could have thought that trashing such a classic would be a cool idea.

And now take a look at this quote from Nigel Bruce’s via IMDB concerning the classic Holmes movies he made with Basil Rathbone:

The stories we did were modernised but the characters of the famous detective and his biographer were kept more or less as originally written by Conan Doyle. Watson, however, in the films was made much more of a ‘comic’ character than he ever was in the books. This was with the object of introducing a little light relief. The doctor, as I played him, was a complete stooge for his brilliant friend and one whose intelligence was almost negligible. Many of the lovers of Conan Doyle must have been shocked, not by this caricature of the famous doctor but by seeing the great detective alighting from an aeroplane and the good doctor listening to his radio. To begin with, Basil and I were much opposed to the modernising of these stories but the producer, Howard Benedict, pointed out to us that the majority of youngsters who would see our pictures were accustomed to the fast-moving action of gangster pictures, and that expecting machine guns, police sirens, cars travelling at 80 miles an hour and dialogue such as ‘Put em up bud’, they would be bored with the magnifying glass, the hansom cabs, the cobblestones and the slow tempo of an era they never knew and a way of life with which they were completely unfamiliar.

What a difference a half century or so makes!

My Review of The Spider Woman the 7th entry in Basil Rathbone’s series of Sherlock Holmes adventures is available at Amazon.com here.

Holmes is always best when facing a foe worthy of him and this picture provides that sort of foe.

Given the choice between the special effects and gay overtones of the current movie or the dull tones of a B movie from the World War 2 era, give me WW2 every time.

My review of the Sherlock Holmes: The Scarlet Claw, the 8th in the series of 14 movies featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the title roles is at Amazon.com here.

The entire series is great and worth review, I actually have no idea why I started with this one.

Because the DVD’s are kinda pricey you might want to get them via NetFlix as I have, but no matter how you slice it they are first rate, particularly this once which seems more dramatic than many others in the series. There are particular scenes that I considered pretty serious for 1944.

On a totally unrelated matter Big Finish is now doing a Sherlock Holmes audio series. The first one: Sherlock Holmes and the last act has just been released.

I have no plans of getting them myself but if you are a Holmes fan you might enjoy them.