The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is an outstanding film. Producer-director Herbert Ross and writer Nicholas Meyer, adapting his novel, have fashioned a most classy period crime drama.
The concept is terrific, in that Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson), while a patient of Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin), becomes his analyst’s partner as both apply their specialized abilities in the parallel solution of a kidnap crime. Simultaneously, there is resolved Holmes’ own childhood trauma which has motivated his lifelong enmity towards Professor Moriarty.
The title takes its name from a dope mixture used by Holmes in his addiction. Dr Watson, faithful friend, gets Holmes’ brother Mycroft (Charles Gray) and mild-mannered Moriarty (Laurence Olivier) to trick Holmes to Vienna where Freud can treat him.
Holmes agrees to a powerful withdrawal regimen, which dissolves story wise into the introduction of Vanessa Redgrave, a former Freud patient cured of her own addiction, but now apparently in relapse. Holmes becomes intrigued with Redgrave’s plight, as does Freud, and both pursue the matter.
1976: Nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design