Seven-Per-Cent Solution, The (1976)

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), produced and directed by Herbert Ross.

Sherlock Holmes' cocaine addiction and paranoid obsession with Prof Moriarity have gotten out of hand. Watson lures him to Vienna to enlist the aid of Dr Sigmund Freud, who will help with both problems.

That's the unconventional first half, obviously made by people who take drug abuse and psychotherapy seriously. The rest is a more usual mystery-adventure, culminating with exciting swordplay on the roof of a speeding train. This is the one where they have to dismantle the train cars to stoke the engine.

Nice period detail with lavish interiors and lots of Art Nouveau touches.

Nicol Williamson is not as appealing as other Sherlocks I've seen, but is skillful both in the breakdown and recovery phases of a great, flawed mind.

I wouldn't have pictured Alan Arkin in a costume role but he is a perfect young Freud, brainy and compassionate, brave when the chips are down.

Robert Duvall as Watson is a more curious casting choice. This was before he settled into a standard rough western geezer persona, but his attempt at a plummy British accent is hard to take.

Charles Gray plays Mycroft both here and in the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series. Villain Jeremy Kemp was the villain in "The Speckled Band" episode of that series.

From a book by Nicholas Meyer. There is a post-AC Doyle Holmes genre where the author tries to imitate the original stories as closely as possible, working within the established mythology. Meyers is really good at it: his The West End Horror is another one I enjoyed. I don't remember reading The Canary Trainer.

Available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory.