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"the torture of anticipation" [3GAB]

Last October, we helped break the news that the 1916 film Sherlock Holmes starring William Gillette had been discovered. The film underwent restoration by the Cinémathèque Française and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival before being screened in Paris on January 31, 2015. The film is set for its American screening on May 31, 2015 at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (tickets may still be available!).

Today, we received word that the film is now available for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD.

Sherlock Holmes (1916) starring William Gillette on Blu-ray

From the description on Amazon:
In commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the film's original release, Flicker Alley along with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and la Cinémathèque française is proud to present the Blu-ray/DVD premiere of one of the Holy Grails of lost films: William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes.

Long considered lost until a complete dupe negative was identified in the vaults of la Cinémathèque française last year, this William Gillette film is a vital missing link in the history of Sherlock Holmes on screen. By the time it was produced at Essanay Studios in 1916, Gillette had been established as the world's foremost interpreter of Holmes on stage having played him approximately 1,300 times since his 1899 debut. This newly-restored edition, thanks to the monumental efforts of both the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and la Cinémathèque française, represents the sole surviving appearance of Gillette's Holmes on film. Presented with optional French and English intertitles and an original score composed and performed by Neil Brand, Guenter Buchwald, and Frank Bockius, Flicker Alley is honored to bring Sherlock Holmes onto Blu-ray and DVD for the first time ever.

The film faithfully retains the play's famous set pieces: Holmes's encounter with Professor Moriarty, his daring escape from the Stepney Gas Chamber, and the tour-de-force deductions. It also illustrates how Gillette, who wrote the adaptation himself, wove bits from Conan Doyle's stories ranging from "A Scandal in Bohemia" to "The Final Problem," into an original, innovative mystery play.

Film restorer Robert Byrne says, 
"It's an amazing privilege to work with these reels that have been lost for generations. William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes has ranked among the Holy Grails of lost film and my first glimpse of the footage confirms Gillette's magnetism. Audiences are going to be blown away when they see the original Sherlock Holmes on screen for the first time."

Bonus Materials Include:
  • Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900): Courtesy of the Library of Congress and presented in HD, this is the earliest known film to feature the character of Sherlock Holmes. 
  • A Canine Sherlock (1912): From the EYE Film Institute, the film stars Spot the Dog as the titular character. 
  • Più forte che Sherlock Holmes (1913): Also from the EYE Film Institute, this entertaining Italian trick-film owes as much to Méliès as it does Doyle. 
  • HD transfers from the Fox Movietone Collection: Interview with Arthur Conan Doyle and outtakes from a 1930 broadcast with William Gillette showing off his amateur railroad (University of South Carolina). 
  • A PDF manuscript of the 1899 Sherlock Holmes play by William Gillette. 
  • A PDF of the original contract between William Gillette and the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. 
  • A booklet featuring images from the film and information about the restoration project.

This film is not to be missed and is a must for every Sherlockian's video library.

What are you waiting for? Pre-order your copy from Amazon today. Available now for pre-oder, with release on October 20, 2015.

A note: if you order through the links we provide, it helps to support the operations of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.