GENERICO.ruCultureVasily Livanov and other Holmeses: the best Sherlocks in cinema

Vasily Livanov and other Holmeses: the best Sherlocks in cinema

MOSCOW, May 22, Pavel Surkov. The birthday of Arthur Conan Doyle (today he is 165) is an occasion to remember not only his best-selling detective stories, but also films about the legendary Sherlock Holmes. For more than a hundred years, this image has been embodied by several dozen actors – from little-known ones to stars. About the five most striking (and unexpected) performers of the role of the famous detective – in the material.

Unknown American artist, or the very first movie Holmes

The first Sherlock film appeared in 1900 and had nothing to do with Conan Doyle. The fact is that at that time the classic writer was actively writing and publishing works about Holmes, and their hero, in the words of Korney Chukovsky, received a “disgusting double” – a character from numerous pulp stories. In fact, such a double was the hero of the first film about the famous detective – the American silent short film “Baffled Sherlock Holmes”.

The plot of this 30-second film, shot for a mutoscope, one of the first machines for showing films, is quite ridiculous: Sherlock is robbed by an unknown thief who appears and disappears, and in the end, to the detective’s surprise, jumps out through the window. We don’t know who exactly played the role of Holmes – there were no credits in the film. Only the name of the operator has reached us – Arthur Marvin.

Jeremy Brett, chief Briton

Classic British Sherlock, who played the great detective on English television for ten years. Brett Holmes himself hated him. I thought that this role was the same type and completely uninteresting. Watson would be much more interesting for him as an actor. Nevertheless, the artist participated in the film adaptation of all the classic stories of Conan Doyle, carefully imitating the classic English accent and habits of a Victorian gentleman.

The British television production was close to the original text, and Jeremy was extremely charming. So most Englishmen associate the image of Sherlock with Brett, who is still called “the main English Holmes.”

Vasily Livanov, “unexpected Russian”

“If daddy saw this Russian actor, he would be happy!” – this is what Conan Doyle's daughter is said to have exclaimed when she saw Igor Maslennikov's Soviet adaptation. The duet of Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin in the roles of Holmes and Watson is magnificent. Perhaps for the first time on screen there were two absolutely equal main characters: before these films, the great detective's companion remained in the shadows.

As a model for makeup and costumes, Maslennikov used classic illustrations for Conan Doyle’s books by artist Sidney Padgett – it is not surprising that Holmes-Livanov turned out to be so similar to the “British original.” To this day, in the Holmes Museum on Baker Street in London, Livanov’s portrait hangs in one of the places of honor among the best film performers. Or maybe as the best – in any case, this is how millions of readers around the world imagine Holmes.

Peter Cushing, the most unlike

Peter Cushing, whom fans of “Star Wars” remember as Governor Tarkin, seemed completely unsuitable for the role of the great detective. Short in stature, with a negative charm – he should play villains. Nevertheless, he repeatedly appeared on screen as Sherlock Holmes. And once – together with his best friend Christopher Lee, who became famous, among other things, for his roles as Dracula and the scoundrel Scaramanga in the Bond films.

Both natural-born movie villains were involved in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – a loose adaptation of the novel, where Sir Henry (played by Lee) is not a romantic oaf, but a desperate British daredevil. Against the backdrop of the stately Christopher, the short Cushing somewhat lost out, but managed to convey a truly British charisma to his Holmes. The result is not so much a detective story as a fantasy burlesque, but nevertheless beloved by fans of the famous detective.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. – Holmes of the new century

The series “Sherlock” – a magnificent fantasy based on the stories of Conan Doyle, a masterpiece of postmodernism – gave us a new Holmes and Watson. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman became heroes of young people who became interested in Doyle’s books.

Well, the detective from Guy Ritchie’s duology, based on graphic novels based on famous stories, was also liked by the audience. It is not surprising that Robert Downey Jr., one of the main handsome men in Hollywood, turned out to be just like that – a comic and strange Holmes. Shaggy, clumsy, but fearless and endowed with the same deductive method, he is strikingly different from all screen Sherlocks.

Bonus: Igor Petrenko

The series by Andrey Kavun tells the unusual story of Holmes (Igor Petrenko) and Watson (Andrey Panin): the famous detective He did not solve any crimes, and all the feats were performed by a brave retired military doctor, who, out of modesty, attributed them to his friend. But this Sherlock – short-sighted and slightly cowardly – very quickly re-educates, begins to take an example from Watson and eventually turns into a full-fledged superman. This is, you know, elementary!


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