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Young Sherlock Holmes

Before a lifetime of adventure, they had the adventure of a lifetime. 

Year: 1985 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

There are some films that stay with you your entire life, and strong bonds can be forged between completed strangers by the recognition of a line from a cult film: 'You remind me of the babe...'

Well, we showed Labyrinth recently, and that went down a storm, so here's another blast from your past: Young Sherlock Holmes. just as you thought you'd gotten over the terrifying idea of stained glass knights leaping from their windows to chase you under the wheels of a an onrushing carriage, or - even worse - cream cakes that came alive and tried to kill you by stuffing themselves down your throat, the film is back to traumatise and entertain you all over again.

For those unfortunates who haven't seen the film, i shall explain a little. Sherlock Holmes and the (future doctor) Watson meet at an English boarding school, a haven of eccentricity. Immediately Holmes astounds Watson by guessing everything about him after only saying 'Hello,' and before long they are investigating a string of mysterious deaths that Holmes claims are the result of a blowpipe, a hallucinogen (the cause of the aforementioned stalking stained glass knight and the malicious cream cakes) and a vindictive Eygptian.

Barry Levinson's film involves a rewrite of the Conan Doyle version of Holmes' history (we know the numerous hardcore Conan Doyle fans at the university will be disgusted and outraged; we apologise; please don't picket us, please), which is not surprising considering that Hollywood's master revisionist had a hand in the film: Steven Spielberg was the executive producer. The tone of the film is very reminiscent of Indiana Jones, all high adventure, ancient rituals and insane bad guys, and just to make sure that they comparisons can't be missed, George Lucas' brain trust Industrial Light and magic provides special effects.

So, you can treat this movie as a stopgap while you wait for Star Wars 3 and Indy 4, or as a nostagia trip, when you wished that you went to boearding school to be befriened by the nutty retired professor who is constructing a prototype aeroplane in his attic. But you can just take it as it's most basic, too: damn fine entertainment.

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)