“Our favourite [influence] is the Billy Wilder film, The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes. It’s absolutely wonderful. It plays fast and loose with some of the most revered concepts but, in the end, it is an incredibly nuanced, moving piece of cinema.”
— Mark Gatiss, 2010. [x]
As we all know, Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is considered to be Mark Gatiss’ and Steven Moffat’s template for their version of Sherlock Holmes, as well as their favorite adaptation. Gatiss considers Wilder and Diamond to be “among the best screenwriters in the world”.
What they don’t mention is that the commonly-available version of the film is, in fact, heavily edited, largely due to censorship laws and Wilder’s conflicts with the Doyle estate at the time of filming.
The original screenplay was what Wilder consider a symphony with four movements, including multiple cases and an expansion on Holmes’ relationship with drugs, an extended prologue, as well as more personal conversations with Dr. Watson.
The final release only included two of those four movements.
Some of those deleted scenes are included in the special features of the TPLoSH DVD.
However, there is no way to fully grasp the arc of Wilder’s original, uncensored vision of the film without viewing the full screenplay.
Luckily for us, there’s an elderly Sherlockian out there with an impressive screenplay archive, a love of Wilder films, and a generous spirit. All credit to him for this find.
I’ve included a free download link for the full roadshow version of the TPLoSH script below. I hope to see some good meta come out of it, and that it sparks some interesting fandom discussions.
DOWNLOAD: THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES ORIGINAL ROADSHOW SCREENPLAY [x]
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