BREAKING NEWS: Long-lost 1916 film starring William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes found!
Full story on I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.
Now Arthur Conan Doyle is reeeeeeallllly pissed
You guys… this is HUGE. Not just for Sherlockian history, but for film history in general. Firstly, it’s a film from what was still the early years of Silents; they didn’t hit their peak until post WWI, around 1922. Then there’s the fact that Gillette is captured on film: back then very few stage performers were willing to make “movies,” they were considered a cheap form of entertainment. The fact that he not only did it, but he initiated making them is amazing. This is a freaking NITRATE NEGATIVE. The reason why we’ve lost so many Silents is because nitrate will pretty much spontaneously combust. Not exaggerating, it’s extremely volatile. Entire archives have gone up in infernos because of them. They also degrade very, very rapidly, and were never meant to last more than a year or so- again, back then no one thought much of movies and couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to keep them past seeing them once, so they did them on the cheap. Finally, just the general fact that a new Silent was found is historic in and of itself.
OMG. For a historian, someone whose life is dedicated to saving old “stuff,” and a Silent fanatic… it’s Christmas. I’m all aflutter right now.