4. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)

IMDB score = 5.5/10

Holmes and Watson? = Christopher Lee and Thorley Walters

Synopsis = Sherlock Holmes and Watson do battle with their nemesis, Professor Moriarity, over an ancient necklace attributed to Cleopatra.

Defense by Paul Thomas Miller:

This film does have a few problems. It isn't clear what the time period is meant to be: the soundtrack is often 1960's jazz, the cars are all 1920's or 30's but Mrs Hudson, Watson and the interior of 221 are all very Victorian. Also, this film was made by a German company who chose to redub all the voices after filming. They even changed Christopher Lee's own voice for someone else. This gives it a bit of a disjointed feel.

The humour in the film is more smirk-worthy than side-splitting, but it works fine in context - little things like knives accidentally landing in Mrs Hudson's brisket, or Watson getting cocky and ending up with a face full of smoke.

The joy of this film is in the adventure story which pays a good deal of homage to dialogue and plot elements from Valley of Fear and Final Problem. It's a coherent story which doesn't feel too far from genuine Sherlockian shenanigans. True, there's not much Holmesian deduction going on, but there is just enough to make Lee recognisable as The Great Detective. And the ever-present battle with Moriarty through the movie feels like a fresh take. When Moriarty is so overdone in Holmes adaptations, that's quite a feat.

Perhaps it would be reasonable to expect a little bit better quality, after all this is directed by Terrence Fisher who was responsible for the fun Hammer version of Hound of the Baskervilles three years earlier. But all in all, this is an enjoyable adventure romp which is more canonical than a lot of other Holmes films.