Monday, October 14, 2013

The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977)

Director: Joseph McGrath

Writers: John Cleese, Joseph McGrath, Jack Hobbs

Composer: Ivor Slaney

Starring: John Cleese, Arthur Lowe, Ron Moody, Holly Palance, Joss Ackland, Val Pringle, Bill Mitchell, Christopher Malcolm, Gyerbuor Asante, Denholm Elliott, Nick Tate, Josephine Tewson, Burt Kwouk, Strafford Johns, Connie Booth

More info: IMDb

Plot:  The grandchild of Professor James Moriarty had promised the world that it has only five days left to live. Moriarty is a master of disguise, a crack shot, and is very patient. Several government figures are shot to death, and it seems that it truly is the end of civilization as we know it- until the President learns that the grandson of Sherlock Holmes is living at 221B Baker Street, and send the Police Commissioner of Scotland Yard to employ him. Unfortunately, Arthur Sherlock Holmes is a quick-tempered, ranting, violent bungler, and his assistant, Dr. William Watson (grandson of Dr. John H. Watson) is one of the most moronic creatures ever to walk the earth, although he is invaluable because he has "bionic bits". Holmes has inherited a drug habit from his grandfather, one which his housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, is less than discreet about, and the sleek Moriarty is also one step ahead of him, eventually murdering the police commissioner. Finally, Holmes decides to hold a party, inviting the world's most distinguished detectives, hoping to flush Moriarty out of hiding. However, it does not go as planned.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

You'll want to be patient for the first 14 minutes until Holmes (Cleese) shows up.  He's hilarious but it's the great Aurthur Lowe as Watson that steals the show.  "Good, Lord!".  What a fantastic role for him.  His comic timing is as perfect as you can get. He's so good that I would watch this 54 minute movie repeatedly if he were the only one that got laughs.  Fortunately he's not the only one.  Cleese is in classic form and Connie Booth has her share of laughs.  The knife in the back scene at the 22 minute mark is fucking hysterical.  As a tremendous fan of everything Monty Python and everyone in it including they work they did apart from the troupe, it pains me that I can't rate this higher.  Every scene with Cleese and Lowe is 10 out of 10 material but much of material without them is often OK at best.  Don't let any of this dissuade you from watching it.  For any Python fan, this is a must-see.

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