Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes” (1954-1955) – Episodes 11-15 – reviewed by George

11. The Red Headed League
A shop-owner is granted membership in the Red Headed League because of his rich, dark red hair, and learns that he has been hired at a fantastic salary to hand-copy the Encyclopedia Britannica in the League’s office. One assumes he also has to answer the phone. When he finally smells a rat and goes to Holmes, Holmes smells a bank robbery. Eugene Deckers is back as Gustav, but for some reason he is billed as Sacha Pitoeff. Directed by Steve Previn from an Original Screenplay by Roger E. Garris.

12. The Case of the Shoeless Engineer
Guest Stars June Elliott and David Oxley play a mute girl and the engineer with one shoe who fall in love as the action progresses. Could be called A Day in the Country as the struggling young engineer gets a chance at a big payoff for a seemingly simple job at a countrified location. If not needing money so badly he might have thought twice, but then he meets the girl and is almost crushed in machinery, so naturally at that point he saves the girl and goes to Holmes. Ingenious, but even a little engineering is above my pay grade.
Directed by Steve Previn from an Original Story by Harold Jack Bloom.

13. The Case of the Split Ticket
An Irish episode dealing with Brian O’Casey (Harris Towb) from County Killarney and a ticket for the Irish Sweepstakes which he shares with two others by tearing the ticket into thirds. His two “partners” are Belle Rogers (Margaret Russell) and Albert Snow (Colin Drake). Holmes, who is also practicing pickpocketing techniques, manages to use a little film-flam to save the day. This lighthearted episode in one of my favorites so far.
Directed by Steve Previn from an Original Screenplay by Lou Morheim.

14. The Case of the French Interpreter
A French Interpreter in London, Monsieur Dubec (Lou Van Burg) is hired to complete a deal between a man who speaks only French and a man who speaks only English. When he arrives at a country house, having seen nothing along the way since the shades in the carriage were drawn at all times, he discovers that the Frenchman has been tortured and is still denied food. He protests and his life is threatened. After an unsuccessful night of verbal threats and pistol-waving, the interpreter is sent home with the understanding that they will start again soon – “Stay ready!” However, our justice-loving French friend leaves his flat almost immediately (he is followed) and goes to Holmes. He tells everything he saw – not much, so Holmes suggests telling everything he heard. This clever idea results in an exciting chase to save the tortured man’s life, and the two last lines, spoken by the bad guy and Lestrade are great – simple, but great.

15. The Case of the Singing Violin
A young woman, Betty Dunham (Delphine Seyrig), awakens in bed to a tune being played by a man with a violin, but the man is somewhat transparent and the music sounds more like a theremin. She looks sort of happy to me, but suddenly starts screaming. Two men rush in, and the younger tries to help, but is rebuffed by the elder, who turns over care to a servant. In the hallway the older man, Betty’s stepfather Guy Dunham (Arnold Bell), explains that the young man (unbilled, even on can never marry Betty, as she is losing her mind – and the invitation to spend the night was prompted only by a desire to show the young man the girl’s madness – to kill all hope.
The young man, who looks remarkably like H. Marion Crawford, enough to be his younger brother, sets out to see Holmes and is murdered on the way. Holmes figures out how the “singing” effect was produced, and that the stepfather wants the girl’s inheritance for himself.
Justice prevails, but Betty’s suitor is dead, so not exactly a happy ending.

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