The Best of Sherlock Holmes

Welcome to the best of Sherlock Holmes list! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic character has captivated the audience since it was first published. But the films and television adaptations brought Sherlock Holmes to a new level and more now than ever we get to see him and Dr. Watson in action and drama. We've focused on films and television series based on and featuring the greatest detective of all times, and if you want more you can always check out the extensive library at CinemaParadiso.co.uk. We've compiled a list with some of the best Sherlock Holmes film and TV series, and we guarantee you'll find something you like. Between classics and some newly released titles, let this list be your inspiration for the next movie night.
  • The Seven Per Cent Solution (1976)

    109 minutes

    We're starting the best of Sherlock Holmes list with The Seven Per Cent Solution, a film featuring the iconic character but based on Nicholas Meyer's novel of the same name. When Dr. Watson becomes concerned his friend is delusional, he tricks Sherlock Holmes into travelling to Vienna to get treated by Sigmund Freud. During his treatment, Holmes investigates a kidnapping case with international implications. The film stars Nicol Williamson as Sherlock Holmes and Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson, with supporting cast consisting of Alan Arkin in the role of Freud, Laurence Olivier as Professor Moriarty and Vanessa Redgrave as Lola Devereaux.

    Director:
    Herbert Ross
    Cast:
    Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Nicol Williamson
    Genre:
    Thrillers
    Availability:
    DVD
  • Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

    104 minutes

    Have you ever imagined what would happen if Holmes and Watson met in school? Well, we've got you covered on the best Sherlock Holmes list with the film Young Sherlock Holmes, and yes, it includes solving a mystery together at a boarding school. When a plague of bizarre, puzzling murders grip London, Holmes and his new-found friend become entangled in the dark mystery. This adventure drama comes from director Barry Levinson with Steven Spielberg serving as an executive producer. Young Sherlock Holmes is based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the story is penned by Chris Columbus.

    Director:
    Barry Levinson
    Cast:
    Michael Hordern, Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox
    Genre:
    Thrillers, Drama
    Availability:
    DVD
  • Mr. Holmes (2015)

    Play trailer
    99 minutes

    With our previous entry to the best of Sherlock Holmes, you had the chance to meet young Sherlock. Now we're taking you the other way and introducing the 93-year-old Sherlock and his adventures. Ian McKellen superbly plays the great sleuth in Mr. Holmes, drama mystery based on Mitch Cullin's novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. The story follows the world-renowned detective after his retirement to a remote Sussex farmhouse. He's also frustrated how Watson misrepresented him in his bestselling novel, and to divert his thoughts, Sherlock dives into his final and unsolved case from 30 years ago. You can rent it on DVD and Blu-ray to get the quality experience this film provides.

    Director:
    Bill Condon
    Cast:
    Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada
    Genre:
    Drama
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

    Play trailer
    2h 0min

    Robert Stephens as Sherlock Holmes and Colin Blakely as Dr. John H. Watson present us with a bit more, dare we say, an endearing retelling of the characters in the 1970s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. When a beautiful woman claims that her dear husband has disappeared, the investigation takes them to Scotland, where they uncover a plot involving Her Majesty's Secret Service...and the Loch Ness Monster! Fun fact: the creators and writers of the award-winning and critically acclaimed BBC series Sherlock, credited this film as a source of inspiration for their show.

  • Murder by Decree (1979)

    Play trailer
    118 minutes

    Many actors have tackled the role of Sherlock Holmes, but a handful of them could be considered fantastic... Christopher Plummer in the role of Holmes deserves your applause, and so does James Mason as Dr. Watson. Murder by Decree is a mystery thriller film featuring characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but is loosely based on The Ripper File by Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd. And there lies a clue, the duo get involved into the investigation of the real-life 1888 murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Be sure to get it on DVD and enjoy in these terrific performances, including Donald Sutherland, for a very mysterious movie night.

    Director:
    Bob Clark
    Cast:
    Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings
    Genre:
    Thrillers, Drama, Classics
    Availability:
    DVD
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009)

    Play trailer
    123 minutes

    This 2009 Guy Ritchie big screen adaptation, simply named Sherlock Holmes, is largely the part of the Holmes reinvention in the last decade. The big blockbuster film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in main roles is filled with highly-praised action sequences and costume design, topped with musical score by Hans Zimmer. The plot is set in 1890, where we find the duo being hired by a secret society to foil a plot to expand the British Empire by seemingly supernatural means. Rachel McAdams stars as their former adversary Irene Adler, also known as The Woman in other versions. DVD and Blu-ray editions give you additional content such as featurette Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented.

    Director:
    Guy Ritchie
    Cast:
    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
    Genre:
    Thrillers, Action & Adventure, Drama, Comedy
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet / The Boscombe Valley Mystery (1968)

    95 minutes

    Our next entry for the super detective Sherlock Holmes list is the television series that originally aired between 1965 and 1968 based on the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We're focusing on these two famous episodes, A Study in Scarlet and The Boscombe Valley Mystery, starring extraordinary Peter Cushing (he replaced Douglas Wilmer in the role) and Nigel Stock as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively. The series with these episodes returned in 1968 and in colour. Cushing already played Holmes in the 1959 film adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and this was the second screen adaption of Sherlock Holmes for BBC.

    Director:
    Henri Safran
    Cast:
    Peter Cushing, Nigel Stock, Grace Arnold
    Genre:
    TV Series
    Availability:
    DVD
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

    85 minutes

    As early as 1939, Sherlock Holmes caught the imagination of various filmmakers. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the second instalment to the series of fourteen Sherlock Holmes film series released between 1939 and 1946 and where the titular character is played by Basil Rathbone. In this one, Professor Moriarty is planning to steal the Crown Jewels and to ridicule Sherlock Holmes in the process as his most notorious nemesis to this date. The DVD includes 13 episodes, most famous being 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.

    Director:
    Alfred L. Werker
    Cast:
    Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino
    Genre:
    Thrillers
    Availability:
    DVD
  • Sherlock: Series 1 (2010)

    4h 26min

    A new sleuth for the 21st century, how they described the new television adaptation, Sherlock became a global phenomenon. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, the series presents us with reclusive British genius and detective living in modern day London and his new friend, ex-Army doctor. With only four series in seven years since it started, Sherlock is still very much a fan-favourite to many and a first contact with these iconic characters. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (also in the role of Mycroft Holmes), Sherlock brings a lot of classical charm and wit to present day environment. Rent it on DVD and Blu-ray to get a special taste of the multi award winning TV series.

  • Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia / The Dancing Men (1984)

    1h 44min

    If there is one Sherlock Holmes you should watch, then it's the interpretation of Jeremy Brett. By a large vote, he is considered the best Sherlock Holmes of all the film and television adaptations of the classic. We decided to present you Brett and David Burke as Dr. Watson with this DVD containing two episodes, A Scandal in Bohemia (featuring one of the worthy opponents Irene Adler a.k.a. The Woman) and The Dancing Men. Jeremy Brett had quite a long run as the titular character, in TV series from 1984 to 1994 in overall 41 episodes - alongside Burke and, later, Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson.

We hope you'll enjoy these titles as we believe these are some of the best Sherlock Holmes big and small screen adaptations. If you're in need of more drama, try browsing our extensive collection of over 90,000 titles, and don't forget you can rent DVD and Blu-ray with our Free Trial offer!

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