Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four

 (79)
6.41 h 36 min1983X-Ray13+
Hired by a young lady, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the strange recent deaths of her missing father's friends from the army, as well as the whereabouts of the Great Mogul, the second-largest diamond in the world.
Directors
Desmond Davis
Starring
Ian RichardsonDavid Healy
Genres
SuspenseActionDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Studio
Mapleton Films
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languageviolence
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

79 global ratings

  1. 52% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 9% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

WALTReviewed in the United States on January 7, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
NO ONE IS AS GOOD AS BASIL RATHBONE
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NO SPOILERS. THIS WAS UNEQUIVOCALLY A BIG BUDGET, HIGH MONEY PRODUCTION OF ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SHERLOCK HOLMES’ NOVELS. IT WAS DONE WITH CLASS AND STYLE, BUT JUST DID NOT HAVE THAT FEEL OF MR. RATHBONE. SOME YEARS
AGO ON PBS, JEREMY BRETT DID A BREATHTAKING JOB AND THE COMPETITION HAS USUALLY BEEN BETWEEN THE TWO, MR. BRETT AND MR. RATHBONE. ONLY IN THE RECENT PBS BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH VERSIONS HAVE WE SEEN TRUE QUALITY. ALL THREE ACTORS ARE CERTAINLY WORTH SEEING. THE PLOT IS INTRICATE AND THRILLING. INCIDENTALLY, IN OUR FILM THE SMALL MAN WAS NAMED TONGA. HAVING BEEN TO TONGA, WHICH IS NEAR FIJI AND TAHITI, IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, THE PEOPLE ARE HUGE, 6’5 OR MORE. IRONIC. THE ENTIRE FAMILY CAN ENJOY THE MOVIE. ALSO, ON PRIME NOW IN COLOR, ARE FOUR VERSIONS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, FEATURING THE ONE AND ONLY BASIL RATHBONE.
5 people found this helpful
Jeffrey W AltierReviewed in the United States on January 16, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Ian Richardson shines
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Pretty good adaptation of The Sign of Four. Some will grouse they know the killer from the start, but that is really pretty canon for the Holmes stories. We equate Holmes as a great detective, but Conan Doyle wrote these as adventures. Many of the Holmes stories aren't really all that much a mystery as the adventure. Ian Richardson is great as Holmes and is quite in line with the stories. Jeremy Brett could get too morose (I know-- blasphemy) and it was nice to see Watson not being a blundering buffoon. Notice one scene in a carriage when it is he, not Holmes who first notices something (trying not to spoil) about the other passenger. The rest of the cast is good, and the idea of the stolen Indian Diamond is now cliche. But 125 years ago-- not so much. Enjoy this and Richardson's Hound of the Baskervilles. A pity there weren't more made.
9 people found this helpful
Get RealReviewed in the United States on February 1, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Bad Adaptation
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Didn't get past 15 minutes in this movie, and we had important plot points revealed before even seeing Sherlock Holmes, COMPLETELY different than the written original. Other details were changed as well. Why is it that screenwriters think they can do a better job structuring a story than the original writer? Why re-write a classic? Does anyone ever remember the screenwriters? No, but they remember Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The acting and sets are fine, thus the two stars. For some viewers this might be enough. For anyone who's ever read the actual story, it's quite a roll of the dice as to whether you will enjoy this or not (IMO of course).
2 people found this helpful
E. J. AllenReviewed in the United States on June 14, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Pleasant but does not do the story justice
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The actors portrayed a relationship that was pleasant to me and at least reminiscent of that between Holmes and Watson. Watson is a capable person here and no bumbling fool, and that is good. Holmes is certainly convincing as a man of sharp intelligence.

Sadly, the movie suffers from being 'dumbed-down'. The Sign of the Four is one of those stories that best illustrates the remarkable abilities of Sherlock Holmes, beginning with the opening scene in which he instantly grasps the significance of the dates which are part of his client's story. Here the mystery is removed because we are shown the actions of the murderer before anything else. The love that develops between Dr. Watson and Mary Morstan is absent from this movie, which is a real loss.

While it was no worse than mediocre, I would not rent it again.
One person found this helpful
Linda LeeReviewed in the United States on February 17, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best British version I have ever seen
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Next to an 8-part Russian Sherlock Holmes starring Igor Polenski (which is now free on Amazon Prime videos), this was the best and most entertaing version of a SH movie/story that Ive ever seen.

Kudos to everyone involed in making this witty, sometimes humorous, action adventure. Great acting, great characters, great script, great locations.

This was so enjoyable, it kept me smiling.

Have fun!
2 people found this helpful
EinsatzReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
“He not only bites, he swallows.”
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Ian Richardson makes another appearance as Sherlock Holmes in this second made-for-television feature by producer Sy Weintraub. They replaced Dr. Watson for this version and the difference is considerable. This film is filled with danger and several deaths. Lots of action. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. There’s even a chase sequence…a bit on the slow side, given the power source in those days. Fun.
4 people found this helpful
A. SrivastavaReviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointed with the portrayal of the "small" accomplice.
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At outset, I must admit I have not read the original book. Also I understand that this was a different time, but that does not forgive the racist portrayal of the "small accomplice" Especially hard to watch was the scene where he is in the pit/cage and the guys is throwing meat at him as if he were an animal. For God's sake you are fighting over millions worth of jewels that the group plundered from India , then why this terrible depiction of a native from Andaman?
One person found this helpful
JuicerNoviceReviewed in the United States on December 11, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Plot error
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*** Spoiler alert ***
During one of the scenes, a maid ran downstairs, screaming bloody murder, she said she was delivering lunch and then ... Holmes, Watson and Shoto ran upstairs, but the door was locked from the inside. Therefore the maid couldn’t have seen the body and there was no need for her to scream.
One person found this helpful
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