About the Film
One of the noble families of England hires detective Sherlock Holmes to recover potentially embarrassing papers held by Alice Faulkner, whose sister was mistreated badly by one of the family members, and who has since vowed revenge. Holmes gets the papers, but then, having fallen in love with Alice, gives them back, and asserts that he will wait until she herself gives them to him. Then, with Alice in earshot, Holmes tells the head of the family that he has failed. The man berates Holmes, but Alice, having fallen in love with the detective, rushes in to present the papers to the nobleman, after which she and Holmes begin their romance in earnest. American Film Institute
About the Restoration
What survived of this Thomas Ince production is an incomplete print, a roll of outtakes, and Sherlock Holmes is based on William Gillette’s four-act play of the game title. The film was produced In Chicago by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company and released in the United States as a seven-reel feature on May 15, 1916. In January 1920, a four-chapter serialized version of the film with French Titles and color tinting was distributed in weekly chapters in France by Comptoir L. Sutto Films. The only Sherlock Holmes film material that is known to survive is a 35mm nitrate dupe negative of the French serial preserved in the collection of the Cinematheque Francaise. This unique material forms the basis of this restoration. This restoration has been produced in two editions. One with the French titles, unchanged, from the serial dupe negative. A English language version was also produced. The titles for the English edition of the restoration were translated from the French in consultation with William Gillette’s original manuscripts, which are preserved at the Chicago History Museum. The design and typeface for these new titles mirror the 1920 French titles, and the orange and blue tinting has been reproduced in accordance with the handwritten notations on the film negative. This restoration was completed in January 2015 as a collaboration between the Cinematheque Francaise and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.