The Man with the Twisted Lip (1921)

Article 4004 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-15-2012
Directed by Maurice Elvey
Featuring Ellie Norwood, Hubert Willis, Robert Vallis
Country: UK
What it is: Another “Adventure of Sherlock Holmes”

Sherlock Holmes is called in by a woman to investigate the possible murder of her husband by a beggar who lives above an opium den. However, Holmes discovers the truth isn’t really that simple…

Here’s another episode in the Ellie Norwood series of Sherlock Holmes shorts, and this one has no real fantastic content to it. I’ve read the complete Sherlock Holmes stories from Doyle, and though I barely remember most of them, there are a few that I do remember well, and this is one of them. That was why I was able to really appreciate the foreshadowing at the beginning of the story when Watson encounters Holmes in disguise at the opium den; while being a perfectly natural occurrence in a Sherlock Holmes story, it does give a hint to the denouement of this one. I warmed up to Ellie Norwood’s performance in this one; the trouble with the last one is that it placed Holmes in the situation of having, for most of the movie, to be sickly and bedridden; here, he’s playing Holmes in his more usual element, and his body language and sense of authority comes through. I also like the close-up scene of Holmes removing all of his makeup at one point. I’d say of the episodes of the series I’ve seen so far, this is my favorite, but I suspect that I will be only watching one more of them.

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