Review: ‘The Seven-Per-Cent Solution’

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 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

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

UK

Production

Universal. Director Herbert Ross; Producer Herbert Ross; Screenplay Nicholas Meyer; Camera Oswald Morris; Editor William Reynolds, Chris Barnes; Music John Addison; Art Director Ken Adam

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Alan Arkin Vanessa Redgrave Robert Duvall Nicol Williamson Laurence Olivier Joel Grey
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