Sherlock Holmes and the Chain of Death is a 1962 German detective thriller about mysteries involving Professor Moriarty and a “priceless treasure.”
Directed by Terence Fisher (The Mummy 1959; Dracula 1958; The Curse of Frankenstein; etc.) to a screenplay by Kurt Siodmak (Donovan’s Brain; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man; Wolf Man), based on characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Produced by Arthur Browner (Rings of Fear; Dead Alive; Las Vampiras; The Bird with the Crystal Plumage).
The West German-Italian co-production features Christopher Lee, Torli Walters, Hans Sonker, Hans Nielsen and Senta Berger.
Director Terence Fisher and lead actor Christopher Lee were apparently unhappy with the film. Fisher called it “a film that should be left alone,” and Lee complained, “I think it’s a shame that this film is not one, but several. We shouldn’t have filmed in Germany with German actors, even though we had a British art director and director. It was a jumble of stories edited by German producers that ruined everything. My portrayal of Holmes is, I think, one of the best, because I really tried to play him as he was written, a very intolerant, contentious, difficult man, and I looked exceptionally like him with makeup. Everyone who saw him said I looked as much like Holmes as any other actor they had seen, both in appearance and in interpretation.”
Sherlock Holmes and the Death Necklace will be released on Blu-ray on May 25, 2021 as part of Severin Films’ Christopher Lee Eurocrypt nine-disc boxset.
Eurocrypt The Christopher Lee Collection – Severin Movies 9-disc Blu-ray + CD Box Set
Exams [click on the links for more information] :
“It is tempting to attribute the film fiasco to the screenplay of Kurt Siodmak, a well-known name in the field of classic and bad genre films, but some sources say that the screenplay originally delivered by him was significantly modified by an unknown scribe, so he can be given the benefit of the doubt. What is certain, however, is that not only does the film’s plot have little to do with his alleged literary model, Fear Valley, but it also lacks tension and offers little in the way of real action.” The Missing Life
“Voices are considerably useless, but if you look further and focus on the physical attributes of Lee’s performance, you see what a great Holmes he is. Lee’s performance is one of his best, giving him everything he wants and even being downright fun in the best scenes. Walters is a fascinating Watson (sort of a cross between Nigel Bruce and Andre Morrell), and Sonker is an absolutely sinister Moriarty.” DVD Player
“…presented as an “autopsy” remains difficult to judge thanks to the disastrous ratings of the followers of Watson, Holmes and Thorley Walters. “Jonathan Rigby, Euro-gothic: Continental Horror Cinema Classics.
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“Bringing Fisher to Germany to direct Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes was a coup, but for some reason it didn’t work out behind the scenes. It is still unclear to what extent Fisher actually directed Death Necklace, or why he was listed as co-screenwriter with someone else. From the quotes I found about what Fisher said about the film, it appears that he didn’t really love it”. Hitless Miracle Movie Blog.
“It was certainly a missed opportunity. The production values are hardly better than television at the time, and Siodmak’s script just doesn’t let Lee make enough discoveries. It’s a good time-traveler, but rather flat and more than a little disappointing. And Holmes’ apparent obsession with the Times newspaper is a bit odd!” Mark David Walsh
“It’s a good B-mystery, it’s just a shame that it’s dreadfully dubbed and obviously done rather cheaply, it could have been even better than it is. You can’t help but feel that you’re watching a C-level TV series from the 1940s, rather than a feature film from the 1960s.” Christopher Lee (and his many fans) deserve better, I think. Shameless self-promotion
“If Christopher Lee is absolutely right that he and Torley Walters are more like him than any other couple on screen, and there is no doubt that Lee gives a great performance as Holmes, then there is little else in this film. There are a few interesting moments between Holmes and Moriarty…..
Dialogue on Elections:
Sherlock Holmes: “Thank you, I never drink before six o’clock.”
The actors and characters:
Christopher Lee… Sherlock Holmes-Thorley
Walters… …Dr. Watson-Hans Sonker… …Professor Moriarty-Hans
Nielsen… …Inspector Cooper…
…Senta Berger… …Ellen Blackburn… …Ivan Desney… Paul King Wolfgang Lukshi… Peter BlackburnLeon Askin… Chauffeur Charles-Edith Schulze-Westrum… Mrs. HudsonBruno
W… Pantel … Auctioneer (under the name of Bruno Pantel)
Heinrich Gies … Texas buyer Bernard LyarridgeBernard Lyarridge … Inspector FrenchLinda Seaney … TartRolan Armontele … Dr. Max Strassberg … Johnny
Daniel Argens … Librarian of Time (under the name Daniel Argens) …
Franco Giacobini … Collector from Texas …
Waldemar Frahm … Butler-Rena Horten … Emily Kellner (as Renate Hutte) …
CCC Workshop, Spandau, Berlin, Germany (workshop)
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland-London,
Production data :
July 1962 to August 1962
Technical details :
minutesBlack and whiteApicture ratio : 1.
66 : 1Audio :
Original title :
Sherlock Holmes and the Death Collar.
The Arthur Conan Doyle estate vetoed the producers’ plans for the film these days and chose German actor Heinz Erhard for the role of Dr. Watson. The scenes had to be reshot because the Doyle Estate did not approve the production of the film.
Director Terence Fisher reportedly wrote notes to Browner complaining that the film was too static and not cinematic enough, which led to numerous rewrites by various unnamed writers.
Lee first put on a false nose to play the famous detective (he later returned to his roles in The Incident at Victoria Falls (1991) and Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1992).
Although the film was shot in English, it was dubbed in post-production by various actors, mostly American.
That’s what it looks like:
Euro-Gothic: A Continental Horror Film Classic – Book, 2016.
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