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A Study in Scarlet

Overview

Edwin L. Marin's A Study In Scarlet (1933), starring Reginald Owen as Sherlock Holmes, comes to DVD is a decent edition from Alpha Video. It's been decades since a 35mm print of this movie has been sighted anywhere, but the makers of this disc have come up with a passably well transferred source off of a clean, reasonably intact 16mm source. The contrasts are nothing great, and the resolution has its limits -- there are some missing and damaged individual frames, places where vertical lines can be seen in the ...
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Overview

Edwin L. Marin's A Study In Scarlet (1933), starring Reginald Owen as Sherlock Holmes, comes to DVD is a decent edition from Alpha Video. It's been decades since a 35mm print of this movie has been sighted anywhere, but the makers of this disc have come up with a passably well transferred source off of a clean, reasonably intact 16mm source. The contrasts are nothing great, and the resolution has its limits -- there are some missing and damaged individual frames, places where vertical lines can be seen in the source print, and the second half of the movie is in rougher shape than the first -- but this reviewer has seen much worse presentations of the movie on television. The sound is more solidly represented on the disc, mastered at a high volume level with some fluctuation between shots and scenes; the volume brings up a certain level of noise, none of it overly distracting -- as with most talkies of this era, there is no musical accompaniment, but the dialogue is sharp and clean, except when missing frames intrude. As with other Alpha releases, the movie gets six chapter designations, and the disc opens on a simple dual-layer menu. The box claims a running time of 77 minutes, but most sources say the film runs 70 minutes, which is the running time of this disc.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Having nothing in common with the famous Arthur Conan Doyle story other than its title and lead characters, A Study in Scarlet is a rather disappointing Sherlock Holmes adventure. Still, completists should see it, if for no other reason than to see what they think of Reginald Owen as Holmes. Owen, who had played Dr. Watson only a year earlier, is not ideal casting. He doesn't have the same sharp features generally associated with the part and, because this is a modern-dress version, doesn't don the familiar costume either. However, physical appearance counts for little with Holmes; it's the performance that matters. Owen is, to these eyes and ears, rather wan; one doesn't believe him to have the acumen that the character must possess. While he does come across as somewhat more humane than others in the part, this doesn't make up for the lack of a truly commanding presence. Much better is Anna May Wong, who is a delightful villainess; the rest of the cast are passable, but no more. The screenplay is predictable, with few surprises for real fans of the mystery genre. There's some moodiness from director Edwin L. Marin, but little real atmosphere.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2003
  • UPC: 089218409096
  • Original Release: 1933
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:17:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 28,459

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Reginald Owen Sherlock Holmes
Anna May Wong Mrs. Pyke
June Clyde Eileen Forrester
Alan Dinehart Thaddeus Merrydew
John Warburton John Stanford
Warburton Gamble Dr. John H. Watson
J.M. Kerrigan Jabez Wilson
Alan Mowbray Inspector Lestrade
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Murphy
Billy Bevan Will Swallow
Olaf Hytten Butler
Leila Bennett Daft Dolly
Wyndham Standing Capt. Robin Pyke
Halliwell Hobbes Malcolm Dearing
Hobart Cavanaugh Innkeeper
Tetsu Komai Ah Yet
Tempe Piggott Mrs. Hudson
Dr. Cecil Reynolds William Baker
Technical Credits
Edwin L. Marin Director
Sam Bischoff Producer
Val Burton Musical Direction/Supervision
Martin G. Cohn Editor
Ralph M. DeLacey Art Director
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Robert Florey Screenwriter
Burt Kelly Producer
Rose E. Loewinger Editor
Reginald Owen Screenwriter
William Saal Producer
William Saul Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [11:33]
2. Chapter 2 [11:58]
3. Chapter 3 [12:33]
4. Chapter 4 [9:40]
5. Chapter 5 [12:08]
6. Chapter 6 [13:21]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
   Catalog
      View Catalog
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