Vintage original 8 x 10 in. US double-weight matte photograph from the teens silent film mystery/crime drama, SHERLOCK HOLMES, released in 1916 by V-L-S-E and produced by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. The film was directed by Arthur Berthelet.
The image depicts an interior publicity shot of the film's star, the acclaimed actor, playwright, and stage producer/director, William Gillette, in profile. Produced by Essanay, the verso features a rubber stamp dated MAR 23 1916 (the film was released later on May 15, 1916) and this photograph was issued for publicity purposes before the film's release and touts him as an "Essanay" star (most likely when Essanay first signed Gillette for his only motion picture appearance and which became his old recorded performance on film). It is in fine condition.
*"Sherlock Holmes is a 1916 American silent film starring William Gillette as Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Directed by Arthur Berthelet, it was produced by Essanay Studios in Chicago. The screenplay was adapted from the 1899 stage play of the same name, which in turn was based on the stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Final Problem," and A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. All surviving prints of the 1916 film Sherlock Holmes were once thought to be lost. However, on October 1, 2014, it was announced that a copy had been discovered in a film archive in France.
The film is based on the 1899 stage play Sherlock Holmes. Gillette had played the role of Holmes 1,300 times on stage before it was made into a "moving picture". It was he who was responsible for much of the costume still associated with the character, notably the deerstalker hat and the calabash pipe. Sherlock Holmes is believed to be the only filmed record of his iconic portrayal.
The film was released in the US as a seven-reel feature. In 1920, after World War I was over and US films were returning to Western European screens, it was released in France in an expanded nine-reel format, which could be shown as a four-part serial, a popular format at the time. The first episode had three reels while the other three had two reels each.
The 1916 print of Sherlock Holmes had long been considered a lost film. However, on October 1, 2014, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) and the Cinémathèque Française announced that a print of the film had been found in the Cinémathèque's collection in Paris. The restoration of the film was overseen by SFSFF board president Robert Byrne in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Française. The French premiere of the restored film took place in January 2015; the U.S. premiere followed in May 2015.
The print that was found is a nitrate negative of the nine-reel serial with French-language intertitles that were translated from French back into English by Daniel Gallagher in consultation with William Gillette's original 19th century manuscripts, which are preserved at the Chicago History Museum. The film had been mixed up with other Holmes-related media at the Cinémathèque and had been incorrectly labeled."
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