8.1/10
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12 user 6 critic

The Sign of Four (1987)

The disappearance of a young woman's father and a mysterious note years later after the strange regular annual delivery of valuable pearls to her puts Sherlock Holmes on the case.

Director:

Peter Hammond

Writers:

Arthur Conan Doyle (by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), John Hawkesworth (dramatised by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Dr. Watson / Dr. John Watson
Robin Hunter Robin Hunter ... Major Sholto
Alf Joint ... McMurdo
John Thaw ... Jonathan Small
Kiran Shah ... Tonga
Jenny Seagrove ... Miss Mary Morstan
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson
Derek Deadman Derek Deadman ... Williams
Ronald Lacey ... Thaddeus & Bartholomew Sholto
Ishaq Bux ... Lal Chowder
Terence Skelton Terence Skelton ... Captain Morstan
Marjorie Sudell Marjorie Sudell ... Mrs Bernstone
Emrys James Emrys James ... Inspector Athelney Jones
Gordon Gostelow Gordon Gostelow ... Sherman
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Storyline

A young lady, Miss Mary Morstan, contact Sherlock Holmes for his help regarding her father, captain Morstan, who disappeared 10 years ago. Since his disappearance she annually receives a valuable pearl by post from an unknown person. The mystery leads Holmes and doctor Watson into an intricate plot regarding a lost treasure belonging to four convicts on the Andaman Islands. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first episode filmed after Jeremy Brett began treatment for bipolar disorder. See more »

Goofs

When Holmes, Watson and the police sail under the Westminster Bridge, several onlookers can be seen on top of the bridge, clearly wearing modern clothes and all intently watching the police boat pass under the bridge. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Watson: Very pretty young woman crossing the street. And I think she may be coming here.
Sherlock Holmes: Incidentally, I have glanced over your latest account of my work.
Dr. John Watson: Oh, yes?
Sherlock Holmes: Honestly, I cannot congratulate you upon it. Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science. Observation, deduction, a cold unemotional subject. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism which has much the same effect as if you'd worked a love-story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid.
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User Reviews

 
Top-notch Victorian sleuth Holmes-Jeremy Brett and well accompanied by Watson-Edward Hardwicke
14 March 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

While uncanny Sherlock Holmes and the ever-faithful Watson encounter into 221 Baker Street are visited by a beautiful young woman and they're hired to investigate why has been anonymously sent a precious stone . Holmes (Jeremy Brett) and Watson (Edward Hardwicke , the perfect counterpoint to Sherlock) are involved in killing , poison darts , a fortune in Indian jewels original from luxurious palace of Agra and much suspect behavior by strange characters (Ronald Lacey , John Thaw).

The film packs suspense , intrigue , unanswered mysteries , thrills and excellent set decoration . This is a good Holmes mystery with gripping London setting and including first-range nasties . One of the most charming Holmes television pictures and long runtime . Intriguing blending of suspense , thriller , detective story and fun . Well cast by the best TV Holmes , Jeremy Brett , along with Peter Cushing who starred the series in the 60s and in 1984 played ¨Sherlock Holmes and the masks of death¨ . Jeremy Brett as Holmes plays in a clever , broody and impetuous manner . Brett , Cushing in TV and Basil Rathbone in the cinema are the history's best Holmes . Brett (he married Anna Massey and died in 1995) had an aristocratic beautifully modulated voice and he was usually a prestigious secondary actor (Medusa touch , My fair lady , War and Peace ) , but achieved fame and fortune with ¨ Adventures of Holmes , The Return , The Case-Book and Memories Sherlock Holmes¨ series and four long time films . This story was nicely adapted by John Hakesworth and professionally directed by Peter Hammond , both of whom series' ordinaries . Rating : Better than average , 7/10 . Well worth watching .

Other adaptations about this Arthur Conan Doyle's novel are the following ones : ¨Sing of Four¨ (1968) by William Sterling with Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock from Sherlock Holmes Tv series . ¨The Sign of Four¨ realized by Desmond Davis (1984) with Ian Richardson . Another rendition filmed by Rodney Gibbons (2001) with Matt Frewer and a Sui Generis version by Fraser C. Heston titled ¨Crucifer of blood¨ and played by his father Charlton Heston as Holmes.


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