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Jeremy Brett

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4 hours ago, Inge l-w said:

I have been watching JB play Max de Winter in a 1979 adaptation, and he is up there on a par with Sir Laurence Olivier and Charles Dance, in the more famous versions. What a great actor

Having greatly admired the novel Rebecca, I'm interested in seeing some adaptations (and in fact have the Hitchcock/Olivier version at home, though we haven't yet watched it).  Having now read a review of the three adaptations (entitled "Hitchcock got 'Rebecca' dead wrong"), I am particularly keen to see the Brett version!

 

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15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Having greatly admired the novel Rebecca, I'm interested in seeing some adaptations (and in fact have the Hitchcock/Olivier version at home, though we haven't yet watched it).  Having now read a review of the three adaptations (entitled "Hitchcock got 'Rebecca' dead wrong"), I am particularly keen to see the Brett version!

 

Which one has Diana Rigg as the housekeeper? I liked that one. 

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That's the other one, with Charles Dance.  I love Diana Rigg, but cannot even imagine her as the housekeeper from the novel.

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Oh, yes, Carol! She could never be as creepy as Dame Judith Anderson in the Olivier version. Of course, for us Trekkies, we have the last laugh, as she played the High Priestess in ST:The Search for Spock. Apparently, like the late Professor Hawking, she was a fan, and did it for the kudos at eighty-odd! 

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

That's the other one, with Charles Dance.  I love Diana Rigg, but cannot even imagine her as the housekeeper from the novel.

She was good! Really scared the heck out of me when I watched it. 

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Oh, no doubt she is a good actress. But Anna Massey has the razor-sharp features and stance down to perfection. YouTube at Cehache, if you are prepared to watch four hours' worth of an epic in 10-minute instalments.

As of this instant, you could knock me down with a feather! The two Sherlocks have also played William Pitt the Younger. JB in 1983 in Number 10, and Benedict in Amazing Grace  with Ioan Gruffyd as Wilberforce. 

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13 hours ago, Inge l-w said:

Oh, no doubt she is a good actress. But Anna Massey has the razor-sharp features and stance down to perfection. YouTube at Cehache, if you are prepared to watch four hours' worth of an epic in 10-minute instalments.

As of this instant, you could knock me down with a feather! The two Sherlocks have also played William Pitt the Younger. JB in 1983 in Number 10, and Benedict in Atonement with Ioan Gruffyd as Wilberforce. 

You probably already knew this but Anna Massey was once married to Jeremy Brett. Apologies if I’ve missed something and it’s already been mentioned. This is a pretty quick post.👍

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Yesterday was the anniversary of a terrible day . .  the day we lost Jeremy Brett.  (September 12, 1995)  

Forever missed . . .forever Sherlock Holmes.  

 

"I've done 33 Sherlock Holmes stories and bits of them are all right.  But the definitive Sherlock Holmes is really in everyone's head. No actor can fit into that category because every reader has his own ideal." ~ Jeremy Brett

***************

"Trying to be Sherlock Holmes is like trying to catch an arrow in mid-flight." ~ Jeremy Brett

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Yesterday was the anniversary of a terrible day . .  the day we lost Jeremy Brett.  (September 12, 1995)  

Forever missed . . .forever Sherlock Holmes.  

 

"I've done 33 Sherlock Holmes stories and bits of them are all right.  But the definitive Sherlock Holmes is really in everyone's head. No actor can fit into that category because every reader has his own ideal." ~ Jeremy Brett

***************

"Trying to be Sherlock Holmes is like trying to catch an arrow in mid-flight." ~ Jeremy Brett

Well reminded Hikari. I have a list of Holmes related births and deaths but hadn’t checked it for a while.

 

No apologies for this short clip of The Master at work.

Best Holmes ever.......no doubt👍

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The video tributes to Jeremy on YouTube are devoted, but sadly cheesy, most of them.  

Here's our Sherlock singing "She Moved Through the Faire"

 

Mark Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch, among others, ring in on JB's iconic Holmes

 

 

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Now I'm definitely in need of some Jeremy tonight. I think Sign of Four will do the trick.

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1 hour ago, Pamela said:

Now I'm definitely in need of some Jeremy tonight. I think Sign of Four will do the trick.

You can’t go wrong with a The Sign Of Four. Many believe it the high point of the series. In around 4 weeks time I’ll be standing outside The Lyceum theatre where Holmes, Watson and Mary Morstan waited for the representative of Thaddeus Sholto to arrive. Dressed as myself though.😃

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7 minutes ago, HerlockSholmes said:

You can’t go wrong with a The Sign Of Four. Many believe it the high point of the series. In around 4 weeks time I’ll be standing outside The Lyceum theatre where Holmes, Watson and Mary Morstan waited for the representative of Thaddeus Sholto to arrive. Dressed as myself though.😃

As best as I can recall, I have only seen this movie once.  I really like the opening at Baker Street, in which Holmes explains/justifies his cocaine use, and those domestic scenes.  A young Jenny Seagrove makes for a lovely Mary Morstan and I must say, it's a bit o'fun to see Inspector Morse stumping around with a peg leg.  The yawning age gap between this Watson and this Miss Morstan makes me more than a tad uncomfortable.

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31 minutes ago, Hikari said:

The yawning age gap between this Watson and this Miss Morstan makes me more than a tad uncomfortable.

I assume that's one reason they omitted any sort of romance between the two (with the other reason being to avoid the need to account for her in certain other episodes).  As I recall, the only hint was Watson's comment to Holmes that she was a remarkably attractive woman -- and surely an older gent is still allowed to appreciate beauty.

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34 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I assume that's one reason they omitted any sort of romance between the two (with the other reason being to avoid the need to account for her in certain other episodes).  As I recall, the only hint was Watson's comment to Holmes that she was a remarkably attractive woman -- and surely an older gent is still allowed to appreciate beauty.

Surely.  However, Miss Morstan is hardly just an attractive client passing through Baker Street, never to be seen again.  She is The Woman for our Dr. Watson . .and TSo4 is the case where they meet and fall in love, shortly after to be married.  The romance between the two is the second pillar of this book, with the first pillar being the action with the 'Four' of the title.  Omitting any sort of romance between the Doctor and his comely client removes a very, very important bit and makes it a bit of a Fail as an adaptation.  The presence of Miss Morstan and what she comes to mean to our Doctor gives the story its heart.  Without it, what's left is a quite silly Gothic heist caper with freak show elements that I don't care for at all.

Edward Hardwicke has his legions of fans, and he's just the thing if one likes their Watsons in 'twinkly grandfatherly' mode.  He was too old to be the best Watson for this story.  ironically, David Burke was only 2 years younger, but I might have liked this version better had they done it during Burke's tenure.  He was the more plausible as a romancer of a young lady of Miss Morstan's age.

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Once Granada chose Brett to play Holmes, they just about had to cast another middle-aged actor (or two) as Watson, thereby setting the show in the later years of the books, and requiring modifications in adaptations of some early stories such as Sign.  While I too am very fond of the romantic elements in the book, I will grudgingly admit that the episode works reasonably well without them.

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9 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Once Granada chose Brett to play Holmes, they just about had to cast another middle-aged actor (or two) as Watson, thereby setting the show in the later years of the books, and requiring modifications in adaptations of some early stories such as Sign.  While I too am very fond of the romantic elements in the book, I will grudgingly admit that the episode works reasonably well without them.

The ages of the three main actors would have eventually caused problems should they have continued with the series; as Brett certainly wanted to complete the Canon. As they first appeared their ages were Brett 51, Burke 50 and Hardwick 54.

The series does require a ‘suspension of belief’ however when it came to ages. Chronologists like Baring-Gould places The Speckled Band, for example, in 1883 which would give us Holmes at 29 and Watson at 31. Not remotely believable ages for Brett and Burke.

More ‘suspension of belief’ would have been required should they have elected to film A Study In Scarlet (the story where Holmes and Watson first met.) Baring-Gould places this in 1881 with Holmes 27 and Watson 29.

They did film The Musgrave Ritual (with Watson in tow) despite the fact that, in The Canon, this tale was told by Holmes himself as it had actually occurred in 1879 (when he was 25) and before he’d met the then 27 year old Watson.

Finally of course there’s The Gloria Scott. Holmes first case and the reason that he became a Consulting Detective in the first place. This occurred in 1874 not long after Holmes had left university so he would have been 20 (too much to hope for a Brett who was 62 for the final recorded episode.) I suppose that the series makers could have given it the ‘Musgrave’ treatment and re-written it later in his career and with the good doctor at his side.

Or maybe they could have done a Holmes/Dr Who crossover episode? A TARDIS would certainly have come in handy.👍

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3 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

The ages of the three main actors would have eventually caused problems should they have continued with the series; as Brett certainly wanted to complete the Canon. As they first appeared their ages were Brett 51, Burke 50 and Hardwick 54.

The series does require a ‘suspension of belief’ however when it came to ages. Chronologists like Baring-Gould places The Speckled Band, for example, in 1883 which would give us Holmes at 29 and Watson at 31. Not remotely believable ages for Brett and Burke.

More ‘suspension of belief’ would have been required should they have elected to film A Study In Scarlet (the story where Holmes and Watson first met.) Baring-Gould places this in 1881 with Holmes 27 and Watson 29.

They did film The Musgrave Ritual (with Watson in tow) despite the fact that, in The Canon, this tale was told by Holmes himself as it had actually occurred in 1879 (when he was 25) and before he’d met the then 27 year old Watson.

Finally of course there’s The Gloria Scott. Holmes first case and the reason that he became a Consulting Detective in the first place. This occurred in 1874 not long after Holmes had left university so he would have been 20 (too much to hope for a Brett who was 62 for the final recorded episode.) I suppose that the series makers could have given it the ‘Musgrave’ treatment and re-written it later in his career and with the good doctor at his side.

Or maybe they could have done a Holmes/Dr Who crossover episode? A TARDIS would certainly have come in handy.👍

Once I started reading the Canon in the correct order, I realized that they'd played fast and loose with the chronology for the Granada series.  JB and David Burke were both 49 years old when they convened the series with SCAN.  While this made both actors nearly 20 years older than their book counterparts for the same story . . SH is actually retired (albeit prematurely) by the age of 49 . .  this didn't bother me very much because it seemed that both Mssrs. Brett and Burke looked and acted significantly younger than they were.  They might have even portrayed ASiS's first meeting with suitable results . .the audience would just have to accept that our two bachelor roomies were older when meeting for the first time.   It sort of beggars belief to a modern audience that our pair were only 26 and 27 respectively when they first met . . and that both gents had already established significant professional reputations in their respective disciplines by what to us in 2018 feels like very tender ages.  Nowadays young persons of 26 or 27 are more likely to still be living with their parents and underemployed if they are employed at all.  People grew up faster in the Victorian era, out of necessity, and both of our pair seem even more mature than the average for their age, even by those standards.  SH in particular feels like an old soul, more like 50 at 27 anyway, in terms of his mental powers and dedication to his job.  I think of him as transcending age, really . . as some would have it, SH is still hale and hearty on the Downs tending his bees at what would be  164 years of age for normal mortals.  It does become increasingly impossible for a real human man to capture SH's boundless, inexhaustible physical energies into the middle and super-middle years.  Brett's illness sadly took its toll and accelerated his aging . . but at the start, he and Burke were comfortably inhabiting Holmes and Watson at the ages which they seem to exist eternally in the popular mind.    I don't think the adaptation of SIGN was particularly successful, and would have been better placed in the first season if they were going to attempt it at all.  I could see Mr. Burke romancing his younger bride . . the 'problem' of  having to reference Mary Morstan in subsequent cases really was not  a problem at all . . Sir Arthur Conan Doyle certainly never bothered much about Mary once he'd introduced her . . she was easily fobbed off and removed from the action with a mention by Watson that 'my wife was once again off in Devon visiting a sick aunt.'  Mary very considerately had a plethora of sick aunties and ailing friends stashed all over England so that she would never interfere with her husband's investigations with Sherlock Holmes.  After she'd run out of sick relations to go tend for extended periods, she thoughtfully contracted her own illness and kicked off so as to really free up her husband for Holmes's whims.  Grand gal, that Mary.

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Another fabulous interview with Jeremy Brett about playing Sherlock Holmes.  At the time of the interview, he and Edward Hardwicke were touring in 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes'  and  had been working together for three years. He says, of his co-star, "I do believe that my darling Edward is the greatest Watson there has ever been, because he has combined all the elements, I believe.  He is not the buffoon; he is a quizzical, wise humorous good friend . . . he plays him with tremendous dignity, and a certain boyish charm . . .I always think the optimism of Watson balances the pessimism of Holmes."

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hikari said:

Another fabulous interview with Jeremy Brett about playing Sherlock Holmes.  At the time of the interview, he and Edward Hardwicke were touring in 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes'  and  had been working together for three years. He says, of his co-star, "I do believe that my darling Edward is the greatest Watson there has ever been, because he has combined all the elements, I believe.  He is not the buffoon; he is a quizzical, wise humorous good friend . . . he plays him with tremendous dignity, and a certain boyish charm . . .I always think the optimism of Watson balances the pessimism of Holmes."

 

 

Strangely enough a friend of mine emailed me this interview recently.😃

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15 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

The ages of the three main actors would have eventually caused problems should they have continued with the series; as Brett certainly wanted to complete the Canon. As they first appeared their ages were Brett 51, Burke 50 and Hardwick 54.

The series does require a ‘suspension of belief’ however when it came to ages. Chronologists like Baring-Gould places The Speckled Band, for example, in 1883 which would give us Holmes at 29 and Watson at 31. Not remotely believable ages for Brett and Burke.

On the other hand, if they'd cast younger actors, some of the later stories could have posed problems in the other direction.  ACD's stories were written over four decades.  Unless they planned to film the show over an equally-long stretch (as the Moftisses may be intending to do  ;) ), they needed to make some sort of compromise.

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8 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

On the other hand, if they'd cast younger actors, some of the later stories could have posed problems in the other direction.  ACD's stories were written over four decades.  Unless they planned to film the show over an equally-long stretch (as the Moftisses may be intending to do  ;) ), they needed to make some sort of compromise.

Exactly Carol.

Make-up can only achieve so much and using younger actors would only achieve so much. Plus if they filmed The Gloria Scott faithfully it would have left Edward Hardwick temporarily unemployed. If Brett had lived they would have gotten around these issues and, let’s face it, your average watcher of the series is hardly likely to be referring to Baring-Gould or any of the other chronologists as they watched.😃

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On 9/14/2018 at 4:30 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

Strangely enough a friend of mine emailed me this interview recently.😃

Re. JB's praise of his co-star as 'the best Watson there has ever been'  . . .

I suppose Jeremy could have been a difficult co-star at times, given his various mental health challenges coupled with a perfectionistic drive toward his work and the standard-issue theatrical temperament, but his generous praise toward his co-star impressed me greatly.  Also coming to my immediate attention--the very Sherlockesque possessiveness of 'his' Watson--note the use of my darling Edward.  

Truly, an actor has never been better-matched to a role than Mr. Brett with Sherlock Holmes, notwithstanding that Jeremy himself felt himself (quizzically) as terribly miscast.  

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