Thursday, January 23, 2020

I Accuse-Unmasking The Sherlock Holmes Legend-Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s “Sherlock Holmes Faces Death”

I Accuse-Unmasking The Sherlock Holmes Legend-Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s “Sherlock Holmes Faces Death”

DVD Review

By Danny Moriarty

(In the interest of transparency which has become more of an issue these days when every medium is under scrutiny Danny Moriarty is not my real name. As will be discussed below in my research about the “fake news” legend of Mr. Holmes I have run into a notorious cult-like band of desperadoes known as “The Baker Street Irregulars,” why that name I do not know. This clot of criminals, who I am told have very stylized rituals involving illegal drugs and human blood, the bane of the London bobbies, have been connected with the disappearance of many people who questioned the Sherlock myth, and not a few unsolved murders of people who have washed up on the Thames over the years.)

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, starring Basil Rathbone (if that is his real name which is doubtful), Nigel Bruce (a name which has been confirmed as a British actor in the 1930s and 1940s)  

Today is the day. Today is the day I have been waiting for since I was a kid. Today we tear off the veneer, tear off the mask of the reputation of one Sherlock Holmes as a master detective. Funny how things happen. Greg Green assigned me this film out of the blue, at random he said when I asked him. However this assignment after viewing this film, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (of course he doesn’t face, hadn’t been anywhere near any danger but that can wait until I finish out defanging the legend) set off many bells, many memories of my childhood when I first instinctively discovered this guy was a fraud, a con artist. Back then my grandparents and parents hushed me up about the matter when I told them what I thought of the mighty Sherlock. They went nutty and told me never to speak of it again when I mentioned that a hard-boiled real private detective, a guy who did this kind of work for a living, a guy named Sam Spade who worked out in San Francisco and solved, really solved, the case of the missing black bird which people in the profession still talk about, which is still taught in those correspondence course private detection in ten easy lesson things you used to see advertised on matchbook covers when smoking cigarettes was okay, who could run circles around a parlor so-called detective like Mr. Holmes.          

That was then. Now after some serious research as a result of this film’s impact on my memory I have proof to back up my childhood smothered assertions. Sherlock Holmes (aka Chester Arthur after the American president, Conan after the famous barbarian, Doyle after a famous watering hole in Dublin and a whole raft of other names whose rationale I could not fathom in time for publication) was nothing but a stone-cold junkie, cocaine, morphine, lanadum and other exotic concoctions which is the reason that he had a doctor at his side at all times in case he needed “scripts” written up. A doctor who a guy like Sam Spade would have sat on his ass a long time before. That junkie business would not amount to much if it did not mean that high and mighty Sherlock didn’t have to run his own gang of pimps, hookers, con men, fellow junkies, drag queens, rough trade sailors and the flotsam and jetsam of London, high society and low, to keep him in dough for that nasty set of habits that kept him high as a kite. There are sworn statements (suppressed at the time) by the few felons whom the bobbies were able to pick up that Sherlock was the guy behind half the burglaries, heists and kidnappings in London and out in the boondocks when he expanded his operation and put Doc Watson in charge out there where he could do no harm to the operation.

Of course the bobbies, looking to wrap up a few cold file cases which Sherlock handed them to keep them off the trail, looked the other way and/or took the graft so who really knows how extensive the whole operation was. In a great sleight of hand he gave them Doctor Moriarty who as it turned out dear Sherlock had framed when one wave of police heat was on and who only got out of prison after Holmes died and one of Holmes’ flunkies told the real story about how Holmes needed a “fall guy” and the wily Doctor took the fall.             

This Sherlock Holmes Faces Death cover-up is a classic example of police collision to cover their own dirty tracks. Everybody knows that Sherlock made his name after he beat down some poor mistreated dog who should have been reported as abused to whatever they call the humane animal treatment society in merry old England. So he had no lack of cases, especially from the upper crust whom he was black-mailing and kidnapping their kids to keep the Mayfair swells with dough in line (and to quiet them). That dog case set him up with people who didn’t want stuff solved or who wanted to finger some innocent person like the story here to hide the real culprit.

You don’t have to be one of those correspondence course private detection in ten easy lessons that you used to see on matchbook covers when cigarette smoking was okay like I said before to know that in these high society cases where there is a butler involved he is the guy who did it. And that proved the case here with this guy named Brunton who was an agent working for Doc Watson trying to steal a ton of stuff from the mansion, just the regular course of business. This Brunton fake butler (fake because how hard is it to keep the silverware clean and master’s shoes shined) was trusted by the Musgrave brothers who were running their own land grab dodge before each was subsequently murdered by Brunton once he got wind of what real dough was available.

On this kind of caper you need a fall guy and that turned out at first to be an American fly boy who was built for the frame since he was courting the Mulgrave sister and the Brits haven’t liked the Yanks since about 1776 so no sweat letting him take the big step-off. But the coppers, real coppers found witnesses to clear him since he was at some gin mill getting drunk when each murder occurred. Step up a second fall guy, a Doctor Sexton who was the Mulgrave family doctor and who was looking to grab the sister and grab the land to build a permanent hospital in town. Sherlock, or one of his agents, had the Doc’s fingerprints put all over the conveniently found murder weapons. Done and doomed. He went before the king’s hangman before you could blink an eye. Here’s the really sinister part. Our fake butler Brunton was getting antsy about the coppers closing in so Sherlock had him “killed” which would be pretty clever even for an amateur. The body never found the murder was cold case charged to the good Doctor Sexton. Once Sexton was gone to the gallows Brunton resurfaced and took up his butlering job again since Sherlock was hooked on grabbing the Mulgrave estate land and centering his operations there since London was getting too noisy and crowded.

Yeah, a fake, fake all the way. Unless that Irregular crowd of thugs and blood-stained aficionados get to me this is not the last you will hear about this campaign of mine to dethrone this pompous junked-up imposter. I am just getting the wind in my sails.      

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