The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1950)

(ended 1955)



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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1950)

Show Summary

Sherlock Holmes came to American television with this series filmed primarily in France for the U.S. market. The man behind it was American producer Sheldon Reynolds whose previous hit had been Foreign Intrigue. The series was filmed at the new Epinay-sur-Seine studios just outside of Paris where the main set, Holmes' apartment, was constructed, as well as Baker Street outside the building. Michael Weight was hired to design the famous flat after having done the Sherlock Holmes exhibit for the "Festival of Britain." Some generic outdoor scenes of Holmes and Watson coming and going were filmed at locations around London and woven into episodes as needed, generally as background visuals for Watson's narration. A fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Reynolds wanted his Holmes to be different from the well-known screen versions starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Reynolds' Holmes would be youthful and excited about solving crimes, not the all-knowing elder statesman of the movies. To play this character, Reynolds cast Ronald Howard, a 36-year-old actor born in London and raised in America. (He was the son of film actor Leslie Howard.) For Dr. John Watson, accomplished film and theater actor Howard Marion-Crawford was selected. His Dr. Watson was not the batty old bonehead who was of no help to anyone. Instead, Watson had a good sense of humor, actually had medical skills, enjoyed putting his fists to work when needed, and got a kick out of going undercover. This series enjoyed positive reviews from American media publications with plans to film a second season announced. Unfortunately, they never materialized.moreless

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  • Ronald Howard

    Ronald Howard

    Sherlock Holmes

    Howard Marion-Crawford

    Howard Marion-Crawford

    Dr. John H. Watson (as H. Marion Crawford)

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    • Sherlock Holmes with a comic twist.

      Sherlock Holmes was a fascinating take on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Instead of simply playing Holmes straight, the character's eccentricities are played for humor, making Holmes easier to relate to, and thus far more interesting than he might have been otherwise.

      The downside to this approach, however, was that the show spent too much time with Holmes and Watson talking, and not enough with the mystery of the day.

      Still, logic prevails, and this incarnation of Holmes will be fondly remembered for not taking itself too seriously, and remembering to simply have some fun along the way.moreless
    • One of THE greatest literary peices on air!! What more do you ask for??

      Sherlock Holmes the 19th century fictional charachter when came to life airing on the History Channel was a classic.

      13 short stories by writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were filmed.In each the drama and action was great.Actual crime is not necessary in the object, it is the mistery in it that attracts him. There is pretty well action a lot of good scenes full of drama.His features are sharp which give Sherlock (played be Jeremy Brett) a cutting edge. The sidekick Watson is also good and his side remarks and comments entertain a lot. A program worth watching and telling people to watch...It rocks!!moreless
    • This show does not have high quality direction, or guest actors, or even complex and intricate webs of intrigue. What it does have is: Holmes solving the case and a wonderful scope of imagination in old time tv ...moreless

      I must say that this enjoyable show is finally coming to light with "recent" (3 years ago or so) releases on DVD. For those familiar with other portrayals of the pipe-smoking master detective, this series comes as something of a shock. The Holmes (Ronald Howard) in this one is young, fit, and very active. With a wry smile, he is as comfortable in a scuffle as he is with his violin. The Watson is not the bumbling fool of the films of the 40s, nor is he the Grenada persona, who is almost as intelligent as Holmes himself. He is a man who has common sense, an eye for the ladies, and never ceases to be amazed by Holmes.

      Though Ronald Howard is a great Holmes, the mysteries are fairly simple to solve. You don't have to concentrate to solve it before Holmes. They were produced in France, with an all American cast. Ronnie was the son of Leslie Howard, "Gone With The Wind". Something hilarious to note is that Archie Duncan not only played Lestrade, but VARIOUS characters! Once he played a Scotsman-and I swear, his accent is so good, you can't tell it's him! heh

    • "Elementary, my dear Watson!" A classic Sherlock Holmes series from the 50's starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and Howard Marion Crawford as Watson.

      As a kid, I loved to read. It was something my grandmother helped to encourage and nurture by buying me all sorts of books. I had all the classics, but my favorite was a dog-eared copy of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. One year we took a family vacation to Disney World and stayed at a hotel called the Grosvenor, which by sheer coincidence had a Sherlock themed restaurant called Baskervilles, and a pub called Moriarity's. I took a copy of the menu, a newspaper called the Baker Street Times, home and added it to my growing collection which today includes books, videos, dvd's, comics and a number of tapes of the radio shows from the 40's.

      I discovered this series around that same time, it was airing on a local UHF station on Sunday nights. What struck me immediately was how Ronald Howard played the character with a youthful exuberance I hadn't seen in previous portrayals. Here was a detective who enjoyed his work, relished each new mystery that was laid out before him and attacked it with a vibrant energy. It was refreshing, different, but not so far from Doyle's creation that it was unrecognizable. H. Marion Crawford played the role of Watson quite well, and was a bit reminiscent of Nigel Bruce's buffoonish characterization. Best of all though was the chemistry of the two actors, and the way they played with the subtle humor found in the scripts.

      The production value was very good too. Filmed for American television and shot in France, some episodes make excellent, if rare, use of outdoor locations. Costumes, sets and acting are top notch for a series filmed in the 1950's. While a few episodes are adaptations of the original short stories (The Redheaded League), other's take inspiration form incidents in the books to give us something new and original (The Laughing Mummy). The episodes do tend to wrap things up quickly without delving too deeply into Holmes' detective skills, but they make up for it by being fun, pure and simple.

      The series is recommended to all, old and young alike. Who knows, they may even inspire someone new to the character to pick up a book and read the originals.


    More Info About This Show


    Drama, Suspense


    extraordinary situations, for the aarp crowd, fighting doctors, facing danger, Classics