Elementary, my dear McKellen
How others played Sherlock Holmes
It could reasonably bear gued that the late Brett (a friend and contemporary of McKellen’s) got closest to the neurotic intensity that Arthur Conan Doyle hinted at in his stories. The ITV shows, which ran from 1984, remain essential.
Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes( 1970) was not well received on release, but many now see it as a brilliant deconstruction of the myths. Stephens brings a great sadness to his portrayal.
Basil Rath bone
We now think of Rath bone’s Holmes as straying a little too far into broad (largely unintended) camp. The later films, updated to the1 940s, were unspeakably cheesy. But Rathbone remains a delightful presence.
Williamson, always barmy, always slightly unsettling, was not used well by the movies. But Herbert Ross’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution exploited his talent to good effect in an original tale that presses the detective to get her with Sigmund Freud.
Benedict Cumber batch
Yes, Robert Downey Jr’s Steam punk Holmes has his virtues, but Cumberbatch has surely done most to reinvent Holmes for a contemporary audience. Utterly different, but much the same.