Sunday, 16 December 2018

Schlock or Sherlock, that is the question

“HE could turn schlock into Shakespeare” was film critic Robbie Collin’s comment last week on the

“HE could turn schlock into Shakespeare” was film critic Robbie Collin’s comment last week on the death of Sir Christopher Lee.

Not a bad epitaph, that, is it?

Lee’s many Hammer Horror films may have passed some people by â?? though he was justly famous for having done them â?? but few would have missed his turn as the title character Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).

That landmark role came just a year after what many consider his best film, The Wicker Man, which was notable for Lee’s gleeful portrayal of the unearthly Lord Summerisle.

For his own part, Lee regarded his lead role in the award-winning 1998 biopic Jinnah, about the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, as his finest performance.

His career spanned nearly 70 years, but I confess that along with many of the current generation of film fans, I will best remember him as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Lee reprised his role in two of the recent Hobbit films, and was much the most bearable thing about them.

At any rate, Tolkien fans will long cherish his wizard duel with Sir Ian McKellen’s Gandalf the Grey. Which brings us to this week’s film, Mr Holmes.

To paraphrase Mr Collin, if Sir Christopher Lee could turn schlock into Shakespeare, can his fellow knight of the realm do the same for Sherlock?

The year is 1947 and the Baker Street detective has retired to a remote Sussex farmhouse, living in relative anonymity with only his housekeeper Mrs Munro and her young son Roger for company.

Based on the 2005 novel by Mitch Cullin, we see Holmes tending to his bees, writing in his journal â?? and grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind.

Cantankerous, demanding and frustrated by what he sees as the distortions and misrepresentations of his character in Dr Watson’s bestselling novels, he turns his attention to a long unsolved case.

As the mystery deepens, Sherlock tries desperately to recall the events of 30 years ago that ultimately led to his retirement ... before it’s too late.

One thing’s for sure, though: Sir Christopher Lee could have played this Holmes with his eyes shut.

Matthew Wilson

Rock legend Roger Waters delighted Pink Floyd fans who had given up on ever again seeing the band live when he took

The Wall
album on a mammoth 219-date world tour from 2010 to 2013.

Now he has collaborated with filmmaker Sean Evans on a documentary about the experience.

Roger Waters: The Wall will be released in theatres worldwide for one day only on Tuesday, September 29 â?? including the Henley Regal Picturehouse.

Tickets go on general sale at 3.30pm today (Friday). Call 0871 9025738 or visit

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