The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (film)

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The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Sevenpct.jpg
Directed by Herbert Ross
Produced by Stanley O'Toole
Herbert Ross
Arlene Sellers
Alex Winitsky
Written by Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)
Nicholas Meyer (novel)
Starring Nicol Williamson
Robert Duvall
Alan Arkin
Georgia Brown
Samantha Eggar
Charles Gray
Jeremy Kemp
Joel Grey
Laurence Olivier
Vanessa Redgrave
Music by John Addison
Cinematography Oswald Morris
Edited by Chris Barnes
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s)
  • 24 October 1976 (1976-10-24)
Running time 113 min.
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is a 1976 Universal Studios Sherlock Holmes film, directed by Herbert Ross and written by Nicholas Meyer. It is based on Meyer's 1974 novel of the same name and stars Nicol Williamson, Robert Duvall, Alan Arkin, and Laurence Olivier.

Plot[edit]

Dr. Watson (Robert Duvall) becomes convinced that his friend Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) has become delusional, particularly his belief that Professor Moriarty (Laurence Olivier) is a criminal mastermind, as a result of his addiction to cocaine. Indeed, Moriarty visits Watson to complain about being harassed by Holmes. Watson enlists the aid of Sherlock's brother, Mycroft (Charles Gray), to trick Holmes into traveling to Vienna, there to be treated by none other than Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin). However, during the course of his treatment, Holmes becomes embroiled in investigating a kidnapping case with international implications, as Freud uncovers a dark personal secret suppressed in Holmes' subconscious.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was made at Pinewood Studios with location shooting in the UK and Austria (including the famous Austrian National Library); the tennis match/duel between Freud and von Leinsdorf was filmed on one of the historic real tennis courts at the Queen's Club in West Kensington, London.[1] The production designer was James Bond veteran Ken Adam.

Stephen Sondheim wrote a song for the movie ("The Madame's Song") that was later recorded as "I Never Do Anything Twice" on the Side By Side By Sondheim cast recording.[2]

Reception[edit]

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution was well received by the majority of critics and currently holds an 82% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune ranked it ninth place on his list of the top ten films of 1976.[4]

Awards[edit]

The film received two Oscar nominations for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Nicholas Meyer) and Best Costume Design (Alan Barrettt) at the 49th Academy Awards.

Home media[edit]

Shout! Factory released the film on Blu-ray on January 22, 2013. The Blu-ray also included a DVD in the package for the initial release of the film.[5]

Writer Nicholas Meyer appears in a 18minute interview for the Blu-ray release by Shout Factory. Meyer in the Interview discusses the genesis of the idea (his father was a psychiatrist and Meyer was a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle) and how he took the opportunity to write the novel when the Writers Guild of America went on strike.

Meyer also reveals that he would often fight director Herbert Ross about being too faithful Meyer's novel and screenplay believing that the script wasn't going to be cinematic enough if it was too faithful to the source.

He also discusses the casting including his push for Alan Arkin as Freud. He also shares a story about how he and Ross decided to cast Robert Duvall as Watson "in revolt" against Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Watson as a "Colonel Blimp" type character. Meyer and Ross wanted to try and capture the intelligence of Watson that had so far not been portrayed on screen in various Sherlock Holmes film adaptions.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]