Last month I was in London for a conference and I was able to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street. It's very hard, when you visit this lovely little museum, to remember that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character. The study is ready for his return, evidence from various cases are strewn about. The upper rooms have wax figures depicting scenes from various stories. It's definitely a must-see for Holmes fans.
And here is another must-see: The Cinémathèque Française has recently found a long-lost Sherlock Holmes film made in 1916 by Essanay Studios, starring the great actor William Gillette.
Here is a quote from the San Francisco Film Festival Blog:
SHERLOCK HOLMES: 100-YEARS-LOST FILM
FOUND AT CINÉMATHÈQUE FRANÇAISE
Cinémathèque Française and San Francisco Silent Film Festival to Restore!
The silent film version of Sherlock Holmes starring William Gillette has been found! Long considered lost since its first release, the Gillette film is a vital missing link in the history of Holmes on screen. Directed by Arthur Berthelet and produced by Essanay Studios in 1916, it was discovered at the Cinémathèque Française only a few weeks ago.
By the time the film was made, Gillette had been established as the world’s foremost interpreter of Holmes on stage. He gave his face and manner to the detective and inspired the classic illustrations of Frederic Dorr Steele. Dynamic but calm, he played Holmes in the colorful attire—bent-stemmed briar, ornate dressing gown, and deerstalker cap—that has been identified ever since with the character. Just as durable was Gillette’s distinctive bearing, preserved in the film: the charismatic, all-seeing detective who dominates scenes with his preternatural stillness.
Booth Tarkington famously wrote after seeing Gillette on stage, “I would rather see you play Sherlock Holmes than be a child again on Christmas morning.”