“From the point of view of the criminal expert,” said Mr. Sherlock Holmes, “London has become a singularly uninteresting city since the death of the late lamented Professor Moriarty.”
--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
Austin: I had never heard of this movie until it popped up on Netflix earlier this year. I'm shocked that being in the mystery community so long I never heard anyone talk about it. Perhaps because it's not entirely a mystery movie but we can get to that soon.
It is the story of Justin Playfair, a respected judge played by the tour-de-force actor George C. Scott. Before the film started Playfair suffered a nervous breakdown and now resides in a mental asylum where he believes he is and has always been the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. His delusions aren't helped when he is assigned a personal psychiatrist, a woman by the name of Dr. Mildred Watson.
|"I don't care what the fashion section says, Watson, this look is in."|
The rest of the film is the two of them going around 1970s New York City as he looks behind shadows and meets lovable strangers as he tries to stop that criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty.
I thought about this film a lot while reading "The Adventure of the Empty House" because as Sherlock was telling his dramatic tales to Watson I couldn't help but wonder.....are we even sure Morairty exists? Our trusting narrator never met him and until we meet Moran in the flesh, this all could have been in the mind of Sherlock Holmes. This movie plays upon that concept and incorporates Don Quixote legend into this delightful tale.