The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

Overview

Nicholas Meyer based his screenplay for the "retro" Sherlock Holmes adventure The Seven-Percent Solution on his own best-selling novel. As any Baker Street Irregular will tell you, the title refers to the dosage of cocaine taken by Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson). The great detective's friend and chronicler Dr. John Watson (Robert Duvall), concerned that Holmes' drug dependency is getting out of hand, suggests a cure under the auspices of Viennese psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (top-billed Alan Arkin). While ...
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Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Duvall, Nicol Williamson, Laurence Olivier DVD New in new packaging. Language: English. Run time: 113 mins. Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1. ... Originally released: 1976. factory sealed, Region 1, NTSC format, out of print and hard to find, immediate ship Read more Show Less

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Overview

Nicholas Meyer based his screenplay for the "retro" Sherlock Holmes adventure The Seven-Percent Solution on his own best-selling novel. As any Baker Street Irregular will tell you, the title refers to the dosage of cocaine taken by Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson). The great detective's friend and chronicler Dr. John Watson (Robert Duvall), concerned that Holmes' drug dependency is getting out of hand, suggests a cure under the auspices of Viennese psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (top-billed Alan Arkin). While undergoing treatment, Holmes comes to the realization that his archrival Professor James Moriarty (Laurence Olivier) is not the Napoleon of crime but instead a somewhat pathetic philanderer. Not yet completely cured, Holmes recharges his deductive batteries by undertaking a tricky conspiracy case involving another ex-addict, beautiful actress Lola Devereaux (Vanessa Redgrave). The traditional Sherlockian sleuthing and split-second rescues of the film's second half are not as innovative as the Holmes-Freud scenes at the beginning of The Seven Percent Solution, but they provide this largely cerebral effort with a rousing climax. A success with both critics and filmgoers, The Seven Percent Solution opened the floodgates for subsequent TV and movie "reprises" of Conan Doyle's immortal literary figure.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Drugs hook Sherlock Holmes in this 1976 Herbert Ross film that reveals the human side of the super sleuth, and throws in a real-life psychiatric legend for good measure. Under the influence of his "seven percent solution," the cocaine mixture he concocts to ease his mental anguish, Holmes goes a bit bonkers and makes a bloody nuisance of himself. Nicol Williamson brilliantly plays the vulnerable Holmes, a role that many critics believe should have won him an Oscar. Williamson receives strong support from Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson and Alan Arkin as Freud. The period atmosphere and costumes are first rate, as is Nicholas Meyer's screen adaptation of his own novel. The plot moves briskly along, and despite the focus on the heady stuff of psychiatry and criminology, includes plenty of good, old-fashioned physical derring-do, including a sword fight atop a moving train.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/1998
  • UPC: 014381426922
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Arkin Sigmund Freud
Vanessa Redgrave Lola Deveraux
Robert Duvall Dr. Watson
Nicol Williamson Sherlock Holmes
Laurence Olivier Prof. Moriarty
Joel Grey Lowenstein
Charles Gray Mycroft Holmes
Jeremy Kemp Baron Von Leinsdorf
Georgia Brown Mrs. Freud
Regine Madame
John Bird Berger
Michael Blagdon Young Holmes
Erik Chitty Butler
Samantha Eggar Mary Watson
Sheila Shand Gibbs Nun
Leon Greene Squire Holmes
John Hill Train Engineer
Frederick Jaeger Marker
Gertan Klauber The Pasha
Alison Leggatt Mrs. Hudson
Jack May Dr. Schultz
Erich Padalewski Station Master
Anna Quayle Freda
Jill Townsend Mrs. Holmes
Technical Credits
Herbert Ross Director, Producer
Ken Adam Production Designer
John Addison Score Composer
Chris Barnes Editor
Alan Barrett Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Lamont Art Director
Gordon K. McCallum Sound/Sound Designer
Nicholas Meyer Screenwriter
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Stanley O'Toole Associate Producer, Producer
Peter James Set Decoration/Design
William H. Reynolds Editor
Arlene Sellers Executive Producer, Producer
Stephen Sondheim Score Composer, Songwriter
Cyril Swern Sound/Sound Designer
Alex Thomson Cinematographer
Alex Winitsky Executive Producer, Producer
Scott Wodehouse Asst. Director
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Scene Index

1. Main Title; Watson Arrives.
2. A Journey for Moriarty.
3. Toby the Bloodhound.
4. Vienna.
5. The Agony of Addiction.
6. The Cure is Worse.
7. Intellect Vs. Strength.
8. The Lady of the lilies.
9. Horseplay.
10. Searching for Clues.
11. Freuline Devereaux's Past.
12. Trainjacked.
13. Sword Play.
14. Clues to the Unconscious.
15. A New Identity.
16. End Titles.
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Chapter Listing
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2003

    A GRAND ROMP!

    This delightful film solves the mystery of Sherlock Holmes' cocaine addiction, with a lot of help from Sigmund Freud (played with warmth and charm by Alan Arkin); Robert Duval is the sturdy, faithful Dr Watson; Vanessa Redgrave is probably onscreen less than 20 minutes, but she has a haunting Raphaelite beauty that perfectly fits the turn-of-the century atmosphere; Laurence Olivier has even less screen time, but he creates a thoroughly repulsive yet pitiful Professor Moriarty; The most jarring performance (initially) is Nicol Williamson's Holmes--when I first saw this movie, I thought it was the craziest in- terpretation I had ever seen-- stick with it, because he will win you over, although Arkin steals the picture, with Duval a close second, and Toby, the lovable bloodhound, is literally in a class by himself-- just an all-around enjoyable movie, because everybody involved seems to be having a great time--

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews