Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991) Christopher Lee, Patrick Macnee, Morgan Fairchild, John Bennett, Engelbert Humperdinck Movie Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Christopher Lee in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991)

Holmes and the Case of Going Through the Motions

Vienna 1910 and a revolutionary new explosive device has been stolen and in the wrong hands could be disastrous for the entire world. It leads to Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Lee) & Dr. Watson (Patrick Macnee) heading to Austria to try and solve the case. It brings Holmes back in to touch with his one true love, Irene Adler (Morgan Fairchild) and leads to the pair along with Watson racing all around Europe to try and find the stolen device with no one exempt from Holmes' scrutiny including his dear Irene. With the clock ticking down it becomes a race against time.

There are those who watch a movie because of what it is about, there are those who watch a movie because they follow one of its stars and then there are those who watch movies just because they exist. Having watched and reviewed over 6,500 movies it should be pretty clear I am in the later group. But being an avid watcher of movies, seeking out those which are either interesting or entertaining and some times both it does mean that my opinion of a movie can be extremely different to others which is the case when it comes to "Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady" as I am not that fussed by Sherlock Holmes movies or the actors who appear in this movie and in the end not that fussed about this movie either.

Morgan Fairchild in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991)

Now to put this simply "Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady" is a movie which seems to have plenty of potential to be a witty take on Sherlock Holmes as in this story he not only has Dr. Sigmund Freud to deal with but also a young Elliott Ness and there is even a part for singer Engelbert Humperdinck. But many of the cast seem to be going through the motions delivering their lines, arm gestures and making faces but never really truly delivering character. Meanwhile it feels like director Peter Sasdy had one eye on the clock and you get a sense that rather than trying to deliver something impressive he was doing enough to tell the story and deliver the movie on time rather than delivering something which is memorable.

There are though an exceptions to all this as Christopher Lee, who having previously played both Sherlock and Mycroft many years earlier, is well cast as the sleuth as he brings dignity to the character, a sense of aged wisdom. And Lee works well with Patrick Macnee as Dr. Watson who interestingly went to school together and sadly in 2015 passed away within 3 weeks of each other. Then there is Morgan Fairchild as 'the woman'; now I don't know enough about the character in classic Holmes literature to say whether Fairchild was right for the role but she certainly delivers an attractive and flirtatious performance which brings some life to some very stagnant scenes.

What this all boils down to is that "Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady" probably works best for those who are either fans of Sherlock Holmes or for those who followed the career of Christopher Lee. But for those seeking to be entertained it comes up short of the mark and is a bit of a chore as it feels like many of those involved were going through the motions rather than trying to create something memorable.