The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

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"Confounding! Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud"
  • PG
  • 1976
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 6.6  (5,039)

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is a 1976 film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, and Robert Duvall. It is based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Meyer, which presents a fictional account of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes seeking help for his cocaine addiction from Dr. Sigmund Freud. The film is set in 1891 and begins with Watson (Arkin) visiting Dr. Freud (Duvall) in Vienna to ask for his help with Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson), who has been acting strangely and taking larger amounts of cocaine than usual. Freud initially refuses to help, but changes his mind when Watson presents him with a letter from Moriarty (Laurence Olivier) threatening to harm both Holmes and Freud if they do not stop their investigation into his criminal activities.

Holmes arrives in Vienna accompanied by Dr. Watson and his brother Mycroft (Charles Gray), and undergoes treatment with Freud, which involves hypnosis and a trip to Switzerland to confront his addiction and childhood traumas. Along the way, they encounter a number of dangerous situations and come face to face with Moriarty in a thrilling confrontation.

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is notable for its star-studded cast, including several actors who had previously portrayed Sherlock Holmes on screen, such as Nicol Williamson and Robert Stephens. It also features a number of well-known European actors, including Redgrave and Olivier.

The film's production design captures the Victorian era with great attention to detail, and the cinematography is impressive, particularly during the climactic chase scene through the streets of Strasbourg. The script by Meyer, who later went on to write several successful Star Trek films, is witty and engaging, and the performances by the ensemble cast are top-notch.

One of the film's main strengths is its exploration of the character of Sherlock Holmes, who is portrayed not as an infallible detective, but as a flawed and vulnerable human being struggling with addiction and emotional trauma. Williamson's performance is nuanced and complex, and is well-matched by Duvall's portrayal of Freud as a brilliant but somewhat remote figure who is able to see through Holmes' defenses and help him confront his demons.

Overall, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is an entertaining and thoughtful portrayal of two iconic historical figures, exploring their personalities and motivations in a unique and engaging way. It is a must-see for fans of Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud, and a fascinating look at the intersection of psychology and detective fiction.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (5,039)