The British Film Institute and the Museum of London are partnering to help solve a 100 year old mystery. The first film version of Sherlock Holmes was made in 1914 but has since been lost to time.
The BFI and the Museum of London have teamed up to enlist the public’s help in finding a long lost cinematic treasure.
The 1914 silent film adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, directed by the London-born George Pearson and starring James Bragington, is the first British feature-length film based on the consulting detective. It was shot in summer 1914 in west London, at the Worton Hall studios in Isleworth. There were also scenes filmed on location at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and Southport Sands in Merseyside, which stood in for the Rocky Mountains and the Utah plains, where much of Conan Doyle’s novella is set.
Unfortunately, due to a number of possible reasons, the film is missing, presumed lost. For this particular film, it is not known to have been seen much after initial release, and prints of the film may have suffered the fate of many others of the period – sacrificed for the war effort for the precious metals they contained.
As the museum prepares for the largest temporary exhibition on the super sleuth for over sixty years, which opens on 17 October, the BFI and the Museum of London are launching a call-out to “detectives” across the globe that can help us discover a copy of this lost film, exactly 100 years after it was made.
If members of the public know where it is, or have information which you think might help, we are asking them to emailSherlock.email@example.com or spread the word on social media using #FindSherlock. We’ve also written a blog about it here.
Let’s hope the wonders of crowdsourcing can find it. Perhaps the folks who are so good at finding lost Doctor Who episodes can have a look!