August 14th, 2009


Calling All Old Movie Mavens

Dear Brilliant LJers:

When I was a young sprout, I saw (or thought I saw) a movie that had a profound effect on me. I thought it was a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movie, but I couldn't remember which one, and every time I found one on late-night TV, it turned out to be Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, which is fine, but not what I was looking for.

The story (as I remember it) involved a baronial mansion, possibly a murder (although I retain no memory of who or how), and ghosts in vaguely 17th C. garb, who disappeared into walls and up chimneys. Holmes (who doesn't believe in ghosts) deduces that the mansion is riddled with secret passages and that the "ghosts" are really actors, hired by one of the mansion's inhabitants to drive away selected others of the mansion's inhabitants. In the rather wonderful last scene, an actress bids farewell to Holmes and Watson, and once they're gone, disappears up the chimney for real, thus proving that she was really a ghost all along.

I think you can see why this scenario would appeal to me, feeling about baronial mansions, ghosts, and detectives as I do. (What? You didn't know I was a Holmes/Victoriana/ghost freak? Well, I can't tell you all my secrets all at once, can I?)

Anyway, when the Complete and Ultimate Boxed Set went on sale at our friendly on-line video store, of course I ordered it (it was a total bargain)--not only because I wanted to see the movies I had only heard of (and see The Scarlet Claw again, which is one of my favorites), but also because I hoped that one of them would be my Mystery Movie of Lost Content.

Not so much.

So I ask you. Is this a real movie, with real actors and sets and so on? Or is it a figment of my imagination, a false memory culled perhaps from a dream or cobbled together from long afternoons misspent in front of the TV watching Million-Dollar Movie?

I kind of want to know. Because, if it's real, I should probably watch it before I write the story I've got in mind based on it. And if it isn't, well, I should know that, too.

I remain your Hiveship's humble servant,

The Haunting Gainsborough

Thanks to keelieinblack , the Mystery of the Missing Sherlock Holmes Movie is solved.  It wasn't a movie at all, it was an episode (No. 35 in Season 1, to be exact) of the 1950's TV show. 

If I can figure out how to imbed it, I will.  But I give you fair warning.  If you are 1) of Scots descent; 2) American; 3) a woman; 4) a man; 5) a rational being--YOU MAY BE OFFENDED.

You may also laugh until it hurts.  By all that's dear, do not watch this episode while you are drinking or eating.

I am so inspired by this.  Really.  You have no idea.  But you'll see, you'll see.  Bwhahahahaha.