Sherlock Holmes Baffled (“Sherlock Holmes perplexed”) is a short silent U.S. led by Arthur Marvin in 1900 and officially registered in 1903. This is the first film adaptation of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, created by writer British Arthur Conan Doyle. The recording is also considered the first thriller known, especially for including the character of Holmes. In the film, a thief that can appear and disappear at will draw a series of objects to Holmes and all efforts fail to capture the detective.
Machines originally produced for “Mutoscope “in 1900 and registered in 1903, Sherlock Holmes Baffled only 30 seconds. No one knows the name of the actors. Considered for years a lost film was rediscovered in 1968 with their frames printed on paper in the Library of Congress of the United States.
After the title, a thief with his face covered in a large bag entered the objects on a table. Sherlock Holmes enters the room and discovers the intruder, but when confronted the thief disappears. Holmes initially tries to ignore the fact sitting down and lighting a cigarette, but the thief appears again and the detective tries to take the bag of stolen goods. He pulls a pistol from the pocket of his bathrobe and shoot the intruder, who turns away unscathed. When Holmes manages to seize the stolen items, the bag disappears from his hands and turns to the thief, who disappears immediately through a window. At this point the film ends abruptly with obvious Holmes showing expression of bewilderment.
The film was produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, known as the Biograph, with the intention of being reproduced in a Mutoscopio an archaic cinematic device, patented by Herman Casler in 1894. As kinetoscope of Thomas Edison, the Mutoscopio not projected on a screen and the images could only be seen by a person at a time. Cheaper and simpler than the invention of Edison’s system quickly dominated the market Mutoscopio movie peep Show, incorporated into machines that could be activated by coins.
The Mutoscopio worked with the same principle as a flipbook with single images printed on cards attached to a flexible circular structure could be turned by hand. The cards were illuminated by a series of lights located inside the machine, a system developed Arthur’s brother Marvin, Henry, a founder of the Biograph company. The early machines relied on natural light reflected.
To avoid violating the patents of Edison, cameras Biograph 1895 to 1902 using a large format film, 60 mm wide, with an image area of 2 x 2 ½ inches, four times the 35 mm film Edison . Biograph films were not perforated, but the camera holes each side of the card as they were exposed to a speed of 30 frames per second. Sherlock Holmes Baffled measures 86.56 meters long, with a total of 30 seconds long (though this time in practice could vary because the exposure speed of the action depended on the user’s manual).
The director of Sherlock Holmes Baffled was Arthur W. Marvin (May 1859 – January 18, 1911), a cameraman hired by Biograph and it rolled about 418 films between 1897 and 1911, especially comedies. Then it was known for working as a cameraman for the first silent films DW Griffith. It is not known the names of the actors who played Holmes and the thief.
The films produced by Biograph in 1903 were mainly real , documentary in which recording people, places and real events, but Sherlock Holmes Baffled is one of the few examples of narrative films and comic produced in the study of the company in Broadway , New York . According to Sherlock Holmes Handbook, by Christopher Redmond, the film was shot on April 26, 1900. McKuras Julie says it was released in May of that year, in March, but despite being in circulation, no was recorded until February 24, 1903, date recorded on the card of copyright in the film. 16 Some authors date the film in 1905, probably due to confusion with another release, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or, Held for Ransom, produced by Vitagraph in that year.
The film was considered lost for years until Michael Pointer, a historian of Sherlock Holmes films, identified a paper copy in 1968 in the archives of the Library of Congress of the United States. Movies do not already enter the copyright law until 1912, paper copies were sent to the Library by the studios to record their works. These copies were manufactured using highly sensitive role of the same width and length as the film itself, forming a collection of still images, a method used by both the Edison Company as Biograph. Recording for years remained preserved in the Library as a 16 mm film
The plot of Sherlock Holmes Baffled has no connection with any of the stories contained in the so-called “Canon holmesiano “of Arthur Conan Doyle and it seems that the name was used exclusively by its popularity. Shot from the same point of view of a stage the intention of the film was probably serve as an example of cinematic tricks and special effects, particularly the stop trick discovered by French director Georges Melies four years earlier, in 1896.
It marked the beginning of the trend of the first filmmakers to show the character in comic situations, in this case someone who remembers Holmes is “perplexed” and surmounted by a thief, unlike the usual situation in literary histories, where Detective always proves his ability. William K. Everson, in his book The Detective in Film, notes that in Sherlock Holmes Baffled, like other silent films detective plot, “[face] the difficulty of not being able to drive prolonged interrogation or a series of oral deductions … then the emphasis is on physical action, not the discoveries of Hound of literature.”The first serious and faithful adaptation of Conan Doyle’s character was the film of William Gillette Sherlock Holmes, released in 1916. Michael Pointer has suggested that the actor’s appearance and dress anonymous Sherlock Holmes Baffled were an imitation of the interpretation of Gillette play Sherlock Holmes that debuted at the Garrick Theatre on Broadway on November 6, 1899.
In the original article about the rediscovery, Michael Pointer states that “this is an old trick film produced to be seen clearly in one or another machine Mutoscopio peep show. Although a small piece and almost trivial, is historic because it is the first known use of the character of Sherlock Holmes in a movie. “April 26 by extension, it is also the first film ever made detectives, a 2 start of numerous adaptations of Conan Doyle’s character in film history.