The Ecstasies of a Gigantic List

What could I love more, or want more to blog about, than a thoughtful, informed, ecstatic appreciation of Creativity, that is itself a gorgeous piece of Creativity?

Past readers will know that I have blogged in response to Olivia Rutigliano, who had ranked 45 detective sidekicks. I blogged because I heartily agreed and disagreed with OR. Now she has created a ranking of 100 Sherlock Holmes portrayals on screen, and I would buy this woman a fancy coffee every day for the rest of our lives.

Now click on this!

Her criteria, her observations, her enthusiasm, and her voice make this about as much fun as a Sherlock Holmes fan can possibly have. (Except me. I got to make out with him.)

I thank her, among other things:

for offering me new films, shows, and sketches to watch

for her continued and correct admiration for The Great Mouse Detective and for mentioning Vincent Price

for going into the past, going international, and going multi-species (Yay, Wishbone!)

for liking Murder by Decree, for loving Christopher Lee, and for knowing Ian Richardson also played Dr. Bell

for FINALLY helping me understand my long-standing visceral problem with the lovely and talented actor James D’Arcy. It is NOT his fault, but yeah, he WAS totally the guy I was trapped in literary theory seminars with. There it is. Not his fault, not my fault: Academia’s fault. As it usually winds up being.

Anyway, the only thing I can offer her in return for this Gigantic List are two tips: OR, if you haven’t, as your review suggests, actually watched the Matt Frewer Hound, you might just want… tonotwatchit. Also, if you enjoyed Richardson as Bell, have you seen Arthur and George, I believe also on Masterpiece? Conan Doyle’s (Martin Clunes) secretary Woodie is played by Charles Edwards, who played Doyle to Richardson’s Bell.

How do I love this List? Let me count the ways.

2 thoughts on “The Ecstasies of a Gigantic List

  1. I have always had a fondness for Sherlock, most specifically his portrayal as the lanky, deer stalker wearing, pipe smoking, hawk nosed gentleman.
    The reason is easily determined- I grew up and continue to live near the home of one Wm. Gillette. An actor at the turn of the century who grew famous and wealthy(er) playing Sherlock- first on stage and then on screen.

    For years his castle had a room decorated as Sherlock’s office at 221B Baker Street. It was one of my favorite places to visit.

    When the castle was restored the Baker Street room was disassembled, it wasn’t original to the house. I miss it to this day.

    The tour guides at the museum give Gillette credit for originating the popular image of Sherlock in his cap, cloak, and pipe. As has been pointed out to me, an artist was probably the first to portray him thusly. I suspect it was Gillette’s fame that hardened and popularized the character’s image into what has become fixed in popular culture.

    To this day I dream about living in Gillette’s crazy castle looming over the CT River valley, filled with flights of fancy including its bizarre Tiffany light fixtures made of broken glass. (Where other’s sought Tiffany’s refined and elegant art nouveau dragon flies, wisteria, and water lilies, Gillette had chunky fixtures that resembled his fieldstone home made. I risk completely loosing the thread as I wax on about MY castle.

    I want to give a nod to the inclusion of “Young Sherlock Holmes” on the list.
    It remains a favorite of mine despite its cultural insensitivity. The special effects still have the power to disturb me (the coat hooks and the gasolier turned into snakes and phoenixes in particular).
    Also- why are villains so much better dressed than heroes?

    The turns by Robert Downey jr. are fun to watch but seem intent on turning Holmes into an action figure. I loved Holmes because he wasn’t the strongest man in the room- he didn’t beat his opponents to death, he outsmarted them. As the bookish, chubby kid who was never the strongest or fastest boy in class, I could claim to be smarter than most of my nemeses. Sherlock, Hercules, Marple, and Nero proved one didn’t need to be Superman to beat the bad guys.

    Benedict Cumberbatch does an admirable job in the modern take on Sherlock. I don’t miss the Victorian setting as much as I might have. BC is idiosyncratic enough and his unconventional looks work to his advantage here.

    Much of the remainder of the list I’m not overly familiar with, I read more SH than I watched. Plenty left to explore.


    1. Thanks, Ed T. As always, enjoy what you write! I’m so sad to know the “room” is no more. For those of us who hadn’t seen the London version yet, it was sort of a treat. But the castle is still groovy, although I’ll never like the play that paid for it!


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