The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (film)
|The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)
Nicholas Meyer (novel)
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.
Dr. John H. Watson (Robert Duvall) becomes convinced that his friend Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) is delusional—particularly in his belief that Professor James Moriarty (Laurence Olivier) is a criminal mastermind—as a result of his addiction to cocaine. 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, where he will be treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin). During the course of his treatment, Holmes investigates a kidnapping case with international implications and Freud uncovers a dark personal secret suppressed in Holmes's subconscious.
- Nicol Williamson as Sherlock Holmes
- Robert Duvall as Dr. Watson
- Alan Arkin as Dr. Sigmund Freud
- Laurence Olivier as Professor Moriarty
- Charles Gray as Mycroft Holmes (a role he reprised in the Jeremy Brett TV series)
- Samantha Eggar as Mary Watson
- Vanessa Redgrave as Lola Devereaux
- Joel Grey as Lowenstein
- Jeremy Kemp as Baron Karl von Leinsdorf (he later played Dr. Grimesby Roylott in the Jeremy Brett TV series)
- Jill Townsend as Mrs. Holmes (Townsend was Williamson's real-life wife)
The film was made at Pinewood Studios with location shooting in the UK and Austria (including the 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. The production designer was Ken Adam.
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution was well received by critics and currently holds an 82% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune ranked it ninth place on his list of the top ten films of 1976.
Shout! Factory released the film on Blu-ray on January 22, 2013 along with a DVD in the package.
Meyer appeared in a 18-minute interview for the Blu-ray release by Shout Factory. Meyer discussed the genesis of the idea (his father was a psychiatrist and Meyer was a fan of Holmes' creator Arthur Conan Doyle) and how he took the opportunity to write the novel when the Writers Guild of America went on strike.
Meyer revealed that he had often fought with Ross because Ross was too faithful to Meyer's novel. He believed that the script would not be cinematic enough if it was too faithful with the source.
He discussed the casting including his push for Alan Arkin as Freud. He shared a story about how he and Ross decided to cast Duvall "in revolt" against Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Watson as a "Colonel Blimp" type character. Meyer and Ross wanted to try and capture Watson's intelligence that had so far not been portrayed on screen in Holmes movie adaptations.
- "Filming locations for The Seven-Per-Cent Solution". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- Siskel, Gene. "Gene Siskel Top Ten Films as Published in Chicago Tribune (1970-1997)". Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Nicholas Meyer interview on "The Seven Percent Solution" Blu-ray
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution at the Internet Movie Database
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution at AllMovie
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution at the TCM Movie Database
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution at the American Film Institute Catalog