Sherlock Holmes on Screen: The Complete Film and TV History

9.0 Overall Score

Complete & thorough

Wish there was some color pictures, index

Book Info

Book Title: Sherlock Holmes on Screen: The Complete Film and TV History

Publisher: Titan Books

Writer: Alan Barnes

Release Date:  September 2011


The classic Basil Rathbone

Love a mystery?  From his creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes has become the foremost crime solver.  Jumping from novels and stories to radio, television, and film, Sherlock Holmes has been envisioned hundreds of different ways by different actors.  What is your favorite?

Written by Alan Barnes, Sherlock Holmes on Screen—The Complete Film and TV History is a reference book looking at the different versions of the character and the different mediums he has appeared in.  The book was printed by Titan Books and features black-and-white and color photographs of the reviewed films.

Sherlock Holmes on Screen—The Complete Film and TV History is so thorough that I can’t imagine it misses anything about the world’s favorite detective.  By title, it goes through all his television and movie versions and provides not only the technical aspects of the film/television program, but also the cast, the crime, and the solution.  Plus the back contains a nice timeline of significant moments in the history of Sherlock from his first appearance all the way to 2010’s Tom & Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.  If you’ve ever had that Sherlock Holmes movie you saw and just can’t remember its name, it’s here…it just might take awhile to find it.


Robert Downey, Jr. takes on the popular role

Obviously, it would be nice to have a full color book, but I can understand with the bulk of the movies being in black-and-white, that wouldn’t be possible…plus this is more of a reference book for the Sherlock Holmes aficionado.  It is about as thorough as you get.  Just looking through the book, you see how influential Sherlock has been on culture and society.  He infiltrates everything from kids shows to how mysteries are set-up and solved on other shows.  An index in the book would help if you have a specific movie or subject, but it is fun enough to search through it to find your Sherlock tie-in (like a 1993 run-in with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).


My favorite, the faux Sherlock George C. Scott

Sherlock Holmes is somewhat of an acquired taste, but throughout the ages there have been so many versions, there is one for every fan.  Be it the classic Basil Rathbone or Young Sherlock Holmes’ Nicholas Rowe, or the current Robert Downey, Jr. or the popular new TV Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, this book will help you find your Sherlock.  The problem is with a character as popular as Sherlock, Barnes will have to update it again quickly.  My particular favorite is the faux Sherlock by George C. Scott in 1971’s They Might be Giants…and yep, it’s in there.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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