A DVD Plan B: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

11:13 AM, Feb 05, 2013

Robert Duvall, bottom right, stars as Dr. Watson./

Written By Jack Garner

As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:

THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION. This 1976 adventure is, perhaps, the greatest of all Sherlock Holmes pastiches. Based on a clever novel and screenplay by Nicholas Meyer, it comes along during one of several periods in our cultural history when the great British detective is very popular (with BBC and U.S. TV series and the Robert Downey Jr. film franchise). The premise is wonderful — a meeting of the great minds of Holmes and Sigmund Freud, to both solve an exotic case in Vienna, and Holmes’ troubling cocaine habit. The cast is virtually off the charts, with Nicol Williamson as a particularly high-strung Holmes, Alan Arkin perfect as Freud, and Vanessa Redgrave, Laurence Olivier, and Joel Grey in key supporting roles. Most delightful and surprising is Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson. The production is top-shelf, with polished direction by Herbert Ross, music by John Addison, and even a song by Stephen Sondheim.

Director: Ross.

Cast: Williamson, Arkin, Duvall.

Jack’s rating: 10.

New on DVD This week:
Flight, (Disney’s) Peter Pan on Blu-Ray, Alex Cross, Cabaret on Blu-ray, Animaniacs: Vol. 4, Laura on Blu-ray, Celeste and Jesse Forever, A Star Is Born on Blu-ray (Streisand version), Gunsmoke: Seventh Season, A Late Quartet, The Ballad of Narayama on Blu-ray.

Next Week:
Skyfall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower,
The Sessions, Weeds: Season Eight, Bully, The Man with the Iron Fists, Robot and Frank, Bonanza: Fifth Season, The Thieves, Matlock: Eighth Season.