Valley of Fear (lost Sherlock Holmes film; 1916)

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The Valley of Fear is the second Sherlock Holmes film made by the Samuelson Studio. Shot partially in Cheddar Gorge, which stood in for the fictitious Vermissa Valley for the flashback dequences, the film starred H. A. Henry, the actor who had taken over the role of Sherlock Holmes from William Gillette for the London production of the stage play Sherlock Holmes, as Holmes, while Arthur Cullen, an American actor, played the role of Dr. Watson, a role he would repeat alongside Eille Norwood for the 1925 production of The Sign of the Four.


The plot involves the efforts of Professor Moriarty to kill Birdy Edwards, a Pinkerton detective who was responsible for the destruction of the Scowrers of Vermissa Valley and is now living in England with his second wife under the name of John Douglas at Pondicherry Lodge. He sends one of the former Scowrers to kill Edwards at his home, but Edwards kills the assassin and disguises the body to look like his own, even dressing it up in his clothes. Fortunately, Holmes is able to prevent Moriarty from killing the Edwardses, leading up to a happy ending.


This is a lost film, and is eagerly being sought by the BFI as one of their Most Wanted. H A. Henry went on to have a track record in silent films but never again appeared as Holmes.


Encyclopedia Sherlockiana, pages 200 - 201 approx

Sherlock Holmes: a Centenary Celebration,pages 30 - 31 approx.

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