Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900), directed by Arthur Marvin, is considered to be the first screen adaptation of Sherlock Holmes`s character. It is a silent film which lasts only 30 seconds. Besides, it is the first officially recorded movie in the detective genre. The fact that no one else but Sherlock Holmes was the first book character who started the development of detective films is definitely very significant and symbolic: "…it is an early trick film clearly made for viewing on a mutoscope or peepshow machine. Although a tiny, trivial piece, it is historic as being the earliest known use of Sherlock Holmes in moving pictures…”(Wolff 27). Moreover, this movie is probably the only one where the famous sleuth is shown as a loser against the background of a criminal: the burglar disappears and Holmes is “baffled” (Zecher 461).
The movie was considered to be lost but after it was rediscovered in 1968 in the Library of…show more content… 272) and Nigel Bruce as Dr. James Watson, can be considered as an adaptation within an adaptation. The movies were very popular and were probably first motion pictures which depicted the adaptation of the Victorian detective for the purposes of the modern times. Featuring Holmes and Watson in the Second World War set, ferreting out Nazi spies, was one of the way for the USA to show its anti-Hitler propaganda through the film industry (Field 119). The fact that at least two movies were released in one year, sometimes there were even three, proves again the audience`s huge demand for Sherlock Holmes`s adventures. Some of the scenes in the movies were used in the latest adaptations. For instance, the scene where Sherlock conducts experimants with the flies while playing the violin at the same time, was introduced in Guy Ritchie`s Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock (Sherlock Holmes)