Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

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There's nothing more elusive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 film that follows the famous detective and his faithful friend Watson as they go up against the nefarious Lord Blackwood and try to demystify his supposed resurrection, all while handling the distractions of an occult group in London, the infamous Irene Adler, and Watson's impending marriage to his dear Mary.

Directed by Guy Ritchie. Written by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, and Lionel Wigram. Original characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Nothing Escapes Him. (taglines)

Sherlock Holmes

  • [First lines; surveying a ruffian guard; voiceover] Head cocked to the left. Partial deafness in ear. [Holmes slaps the guard in the left ear] First point of attack. Two: throat; paralyse vocal chords, stop scream. [Grabs the guard by the neck, stifling his vocal cords and silencing his scream] Three: got to be heavy drinker. Floating rib to the liver. [The guard gets punched in the gut] Four: finally, drag in left leg, fist to patella. [Punches and drags the left leg] Summary prognosis: conscious in ninety seconds, partial efficacy: quarter of an hour at best. Full faculty recovery: unlikely. [Back in real time, Holmes uses his coat to conceal himself in the shadows, and as the guard strolls past him, Holmes leaps out, does all of the above in a matter of seconds, and steals the guard's bowler hat and lantern, before taking off down the stairs.]
  • Always nice to see you, Watson.
  • My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work. The sooner the better.
  • [To Mrs. Hudson] Don't touch, everything is in its proper place, as per usual … [sneers] Nanny.
  • [To Watson, about him incorrectly pronouncing Blackwood dead] This is a matter of professional integrity. No girl wants to marry a doctor who can't even tell if a man's dead or not.
  • The game is afoot. [In unison with Watson] Follow your spirit and upon this charge – Cry, God for Harry, England and Saint George!
  • [To Irene] I was simply studying your methods … should the authorities ask me to hunt you down.
  • Ah … putrefaction.
  • [As he and Watson are confronted by Dredger and two smaller thugs, Dredger asks him if he has any problem] Meat … or potatoes?
  • Watson, what have you done?
  • [Wakes up naked with Adler having cuffed him spread-eagle to the bed with a pillow over his crotch. A maid comes in, sees him and shrieks] Madam, I need you to remain calm. And trust me, I'm a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release. [The maid runs out in disgust]
  • [To Blackwood] What a busy afterlife you're having.
  • My journey took me somewhat further down the rabbit-hole than I'd intended and, though I dirtied my fluffy white tail, I've emerged … enlightened.
  • [To Blackwood] The devil's due a soul, I'd say.
  • [At the end of the movie, when Holmes deciphers the true motive of the crime] There's nothing more elusive than an obvious fact.
  • [Final line] Case reopened.

Dr. John Watson

  • [Holmes has been firing a gun in his room when Watson opens the door] Permission to enter the armory.
  • [About an empty vial, to Holmes] You do know what you're drinking is meant for eye surgery?
  • [About Irene] She was the only adversary who ever outsmarted you. Twice. Made a proper idiot out of you.
  • What could she possibly need? An alibi? A beard? A human canoe. She could sit on your back and paddle you up the Thames.
  • I've been going over my notes of our exploits over the past seven months. Would you like to hear my conclusions? … I am psychologically disturbed.
  • [Seeing Holmes has left his revolver behind] He's left it there on purpose.
  • [About Irene] She loves an entrance, your muse.
  • [With a goon in a stranglehold] Relax … I'm a doctor.
  • [After Holmes fires all ammo at Lord Blackwood] What was that about saving bullets?
  • Holmes!
  • [After he and Mary come upon Holmes, who appears to have hanged himself in his rooms] Don't worry, dear- suicide's not in his repertoire, he's far too fond of himself for that.

Lord Blackwood

  • [On several occasions] You seem surprised.
  • Holmes, you must widen your gaze.
  • You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature.
  • Beneath your mask of logic I sense a fragility. That worries me. Steel your mind, Holmes; or by the time you realize you made all of this possible, it'll be the last sane thought in your head.
  • [Before he is to be executed] Death … is only the beginning.
  • [About Irene] She followed you here, Holmes! You've led your lamb to slaughter.

Irene Adler

  • London's so bleak this time of year. Not that I'm pining for New Jersey, I prefer to travel in the winter.
  • I'm Irene Adler again.
  • I've never been in over my head.
  • [Holmes is reeling from the doctored wine she gave him] I told you to let it breathe. Can you taste the comet?


  • Mrs. Hudson: Oh, he's killed the dog … again.
  • Cemetery Groundskeeper: I know what I saw! It was Blackwood. As clearly as I see you. And when the dead walk … the living will fill these coffins.
  • Tanner: Oh, you've found a sense of humor, Doctor! … If only just a sense.
  • Lord Coward: How terrible is wisdom, when it brings no profit to the wise.
  • Mary Morstan: [to Holmes] Solve this … whatever it takes.
  • Professor Moriarty: [to Adler, aboard a train] The train will depart when I tell it to. And you will leave my employment when I allow you to.

Quotes from Holmes Literature

  • Holmes: You have the grand gift of silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.
  • Variation on "You have a grand gift of silence, Watson," he said. "It makes you quite invaluable as a companion."
  • Watson: You're not human!
  • Inspired by "there is something positively inhuman in you at times."
  • Holmes: The little details are by far the most important.
  • Variation on "The little things are infinitely the most important."
  • Holmes: Data, data, data, I cannot make bricks without clay.
  • Holmes: It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Inevitably, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
  • Holmes: Crime is common. Logic is rare.
  • Holmes: It makes a considerable difference to me, having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely.
  • Holmes: My mind rebels at stagnation; give me problems, give me work.
  • Variation on "My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my proper atmosphere."
  • from The Sign of the Four
  • Mary Morstan: He'd say it was worth the wound … I know you care about him as much as I do.
  • Variation on Watson's "It was worth a wound, it was worth many wounds, to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask."
  • Holmes: Nothing more elusive than an obvious fact.


[Holmes is spying on Blackwood's sacrifice. One of Blackwood's henchmen tries to sneak up on him, but Watson grabs him and chokes him in a hold]
Dr. John Watson: I like the hat.
Sherlock Holmes: Thanks, I just picked it up.
Dr. John Watson: You remember your revolver?
Sherlock Holmes: Oh, knew I forgot something. Thought I left the stove on.
Dr. John Watson: You did.
Sherlock Holmes: I think that's quite enough. You are a doctor, after all. [Watson feels the henchman's pulse and lets him fall to the floor. Holmes & Watson shake hands]
Sherlock Holmes: Always nice to see you, Watson. Where's the Inspector?
Dr. John Watson: He's getting his troops lined up.
Sherlock Holmes: That could be all day. [They run down the stairs and attack the other henchmen who are standing guard]

Lord Blackwood: Sherlock Holmes. And his loyal dog. Tell me, Doctor … as a medical man, have you enjoyed my work?
Watson: Let me show you just how much I've enjoyed it. [starts walking towards Blackwood]
Holmes: Watson, don't!
[Holmes stops Watson a few feet from Lord Blackwood, then looks at Blackwood's hands]
Holmes: Observe …
[Watson looks down, to see there is an almost imperceptibly thin glass dagger with a sharp point less than a foot from where they stand]
Watson: How did you see that?
Holmes: Because I was looking for it.
[Holmes uses his batons to shatter the dagger]

Inspector Lestrade: You were told to wait for my orders.
Sherlock Holmes: If I had, you'd be cleaning up a corpse and chasing a rumor. Besides, the girl's family hired me, not the Yard. Why they thought you needed any assistance is beyond me.
Inspector Lestrade: Well, London will breathe a sigh of relief.
Dr. John Watson: Indeed. Congratulations, Lestrade.
Sherlock Holmes: Bravo, Inspector! Have a cigar.
Photographer: Gentlemen. [they turn] Cheese.
[Their photo is taken, and Holmes tries to conceal his face]

Watson: [sarcastically] Permission to enter the armoury.
Holmes: Granted.
[Holmes has been firing bullets into the wall – loudly]
Holmes: I am in the process of creating a device that suppresses the sound of a gunshot.
Watson: It's not working.

Watson: [reading a letter] Lady Radford reports … her emerald bracelet has gone missing.
Holmes: Insurance swindle. Lord Radford likes fast women and slow ponies.

Mrs. Hudson: Tea, Mr. Holmes.
Holmes: Is it poisoned, Nanny?
Mrs. Hudson: There's enough of that in you already.

Watson: You've been in this room for two weeks. I insist you have to get out.
Holmes: [looking out the window] There is absolutely nothing of interest to me, out there, on Earth, at all.
Watson: [pauses] So you're free this evening?
Holmes: Absolutely.
Watson: Dinner?
Holmes: Wonderful.
Watson: The Royale?
Holmes: My favorite.
Watson: [starts to leave] … Mary's coming.
Holmes: [looks up] … Not available.
Watson: You're meeting her, Holmes!
Holmes: Have you proposed yet?
Watson: No, I haven't found the right ring.
Holmes: Then it's not official.
Watson: It's happening, whether you like it or not! 8:30, The Royale. Wear a jacket. [departs]
Holmes: You wear a jacket.

Mary: It does seem a little far-fetched at times, making these grand assumptions based on such tiny details …
Holmes: Well, that's not exactly true, is it? The little details are by far the most important. Take Watson –
Mary: I intend to.

Mary Morstan: What can you tell about me?
Sherlock Holmes: You?
[He and Watson exchange a look]
John Watson: Oh, I don't think that's –
Sherlock Holmes: I don't know that that's –
John Watson: Not at dinner.
Sherlock Holmes: Perhaps some other time.
Mary Morstan: I insist.
Sherlock Holmes: You insist?
John Watson: You remember we discussed this.
Sherlock Holmes: The lady insists.
[Holmes takes a look]
Sherlock Holmes: You're a governess.
Mary Morstan: Well done.
John Watson: Yes, very well done. Now, shall we? Waiter!
Sherlock Holmes: Your student … is a boy of eight.
Mary Morstan: Charlie's seven, actually.
Sherlock Holmes: Ah, well, then he's tall for his age. He flicked ink on you today.
Mary Morstan: Do I have ink on my face?
John Watson: There's nothing wrong with your face.
Sherlock Holmes: There are two drops on your ear, in fact. India Blue is nearly impossible to get off. A very impetuous act by the boy, but you are too experienced to react rashly, which is why the lady for whom you work lent you that necklace. Oriental pearls, diamonds, a flawless ruby; hardly the gems of a governess. However, the jewels you are not wearing tell us rather more.
John Watson: Holmes-
Sherlock Holmes: You were engaged. The ring is gone, but the lighter skin where it once sat suggests that you spent some time abroad wearing it proudly. That is until you were informed of its true, modest worth, at which point, you broke off the engagement and returned to England for better prospects. [Glances at Watson] A doctor, perhaps?
[Mary angrily splashes her wine on Holmes' face]
Mary Morstan: Right on all counts, Mr. Holmes, apart from one: I didn't leave him...he died.

[Holmes is standing in front of a glass containing a group of flies, strumming chords on his violin as he observes them]
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, what started merely as an experiment has led me to the brink of a remarkable discovery.
Dr. John Watson: You do realize that what you're drinking is meant for eye surgery?
Sherlock Holmes: If I play a chromatic scale, there's no measurable response. Now, and this is remarkable, I switch to atonal clusters …
[The flies start flying in neat circles]
Sherlock Holmes: Voilà! They fly in synchronized, counterclockwise, concentric circles, as though a regimented flock. Watson, this is extraordinary. I, using musical theory, have created order … out of chaos.
Dr. John Watson: How did you lure them in?
Sherlock Holmes: Excellent question. Individually. I've been at it for six hours.
Dr. John Watson: And what happens if I do this?
[He takes the lid off the glass and taps the glass with his cane, letting all the insects fly out]
Sherlock Holmes: … Right.
Dr. John Watson: Get yourself cleaned up. You are Blackwood's last request.

[Holmes is visiting Blackwood in his cell and has noticed various occult carvings in the walls; Blackwood himself is reading from the Book of Revelation]
Sherlock Holmes: I love what you've done with the place.
Lord Blackwood: So glad you could accept my invitation.
Sherlock Holmes: I just have a small point of concern.
Lord Blackwood: How can I help?
Sherlock Holmes: I'd already followed the murders with some interest, and while my heart went out primarily to the families of the victims, I couldn't help but notice a criminal mastery in the stroke of your brush.
Lord Blackwood: You're too kind.
Sherlock Holmes: However, by comparison, your work in the crypt was more akin to a finger painting.

[Holmes has just spoken with Blackwood, who has warned him about three impending deaths that he cannot prevent]
Inspector Lestrade: What did he want?
Sherlock Holmes: Not sure … [sees a priest] But I don't think you're needed, Father. Not for this one.

Irene Adler: Now, by the looks of things, you're between jobs.
Sherlock Holmes: And you between husbands. How much did you get for the ring?
Irene Adler: Oh, he was boring, and jealous, and he snored. [shrugs] I'm Irene Adler once again.

[Holmes confronts Irene about her employer]
Irene Adler: Why are you always so suspicious?
Sherlock Holmes: Should I answer chronologically or alphabetically?

[The two men have just been told of Blackwood's resurrection]
Dr. John Watson: You're not really taking this seriously, are you, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: Yes. As you should. It's a matter of professional integrity. No girl wants to marry a doctor who can't tell if a man's dead or not.

[Holmes and Watson arrive at the graveyard.]
Lestrade: We're just in the process of bringing up the casket.
Holmes: [looks at the constables, all of whom seem rooted to the ground] Indeed? What stage of the process? Contemplative?

[Holmes & Watson are searching Luke Reordan's apartment]
Sherlock Holmes: There's one odour I can't put my finger on. Is it candy floss, molasses… maple syrup? Ah! Barley sugar. [Watson turns around to see two of Blackwood's henchmen enter, one holding a …]
John Watson: Toffee apple.
Sherlock Holmes: [eyes the second thug's gasoline can] Let me guess … judging by your arsonist's tool kit, you're here to burn down the building, and extinguish all evidence therein.
First Thug: Just one minute, boys! [calls] Oh, Dredger!
[Dredger enters, Holmes and Watson look up … and up]
Dredger: Il y a un problème? ["Is there a problem?"]
Sherlock Holmes: [pointing his cane to Dredger and then to the thugs] Meat … or potatoes?
John Watson: My ten minutes are up.
[The three thugs attack them; Watson takes on the two short thugs while Holmes engages Dredger; Dredger grabs Holmes by the neck and throws him across a table into a wall; after this, Holmes staggers to his feet]
Sherlock Holmes: Un moment, s'il vous plaît … ["One moment, please."]
Dredger: Je ne suis pas pressé. ["I'm in no hurry."]
[Holmes whacks Dredger with a pipe until he accidentally strikes a column; Holmes manages to grab an odd copper wand-like object; when he puts the tips to Dredger's chest, it sends Dredger flying backwards and straight through a wall; Holmes gets to his feet, and after recharging the taser-wand, he hears sounds from behind the wall; eventually, we hear a few crashes, and Dredger shoves open two other doors, carrying a small knife]
Dredger: [rising unsteadily to his feet] Un moment, s'il vous plaît … ["One moment, please …"]
[Holmes uses the taser to send an electric shock through a pipe to a knife that Dredger is holding, causing him to go flying backwards against the thug that is holding Watson at knifepoint, crushing the thug; Holmes then blows out a bit of smoke from the taser]
John Watson: [in surprise] Holmes, what is that?
Sherlock Holmes: Je ne sais pas. ["I don't know."]

[Dredger grabs the taser from Holmes after Holmes accuses him of working for Blackwood]
Dredger: Cours, petit lapin, cours. ["Run, little rabbit, run."]
Holmes: Avec plaisir. ["With pleasure."]

Irene Adler: So … case closed. Which makes this a social visit.
Sherlock Holmes: No, it's a "you're in over your head, Irene" visit.

[Holmes is summoned to the scene of Sir Thomas's death]
Sherlock Holmes: Why did you drain the bathwater?
Constable Clarkie: Out of common decency, sir.
Sherlock Holmes: Crime is common, logic is rare. The decent thing is to catch the killer, not provide comfort for the corpse.

Sherlock Holmes: You know, somehow I knew you wouldn't leave.
Irene Adler: [holds up a newspaper, showing the headline "Sherlock Holmes – WANTED"] You made the front page.
Sherlock Holmes: Only a name and no picture.
Irene Adler: Anyway, it appears that you'll be working outside the law now, and that's my area of expertise.
Sherlock Holmes: I feel safer already.

Irene: I've never woken up in handcuffs before.
Holmes: I have … naked. [referring to earlier in the film]

Irene: He's just as brilliant as you are, and infinitely more devious.
Holmes: We'll see about that.

Irene: You'll miss me, Sherlock.
Holmes: Sadly, yes.

[In a bare-knuckle boxing match, Holmes sees Irene and tries to forfeit and leave]
Sherlock Holmes: That's it, big man. You've won, congratulations.
McMurdo: Oi, we ain't done yet!
[McMurdo spits at the back of Holmes's head. Holmes stops]
Sherlock Holmes: [voice-over] This mustn't register on an emotional level … [in slow motion] First, distract target … [Holmes flicks a handkerchief in front of his opponent's face] Then block his blind jab, counter with cross to left cheek. Discombobulate. [Holmes claps his hands over his opponent's ears] Dazed, will attempt wild haymaker. Employ elbow block, and body shot. [blocks with his elbow and delivers a body blow] Block feral left, weaken right jaw, now fracture. [a cross to the jaw fractures the bone] Break cracked ribs, traumatize solar plexus, dislocate jaw entirely. [two more body blows, and a right hook to the jaw hinge] Heel kick to diaphragm … [a heel kick to the opponent's chest sends him crashing out of the ring] In summary: ears ringing, jaw fractured, three ribs cracked, four broken, diaphragm hemorrhaging. Physical recovery: six weeks. Full psychological recovery: six months. Capacity to spit at back of head: neutralized. [Back in real time, Holmes picks up the handkerchief, as though wiping the back of his neck, then proceeds to do all of the foregoing in approximately six seconds, and kicks McMurdo out of the ring, before calmly walking away]
Onlooker: Where did that come from?! [Those who place their bets realize that they've lost their money]

Sherlock Holmes: You've never complained about my methods before.
Dr. John Watson: I'm not complaining.
Sherlock Holmes: You're not? What do you call this?
Dr. John Watson: I never complain! How am I complaining?! When do I ever complain about you practicing the violin at three in the morning, or your mess, your general lack of hygiene, or the fact that you steal my clothes?!
Sherlock Holmes: Uh, we have a barter system …
Dr. John Watson: When have I ever complained about you setting fire to my rooms?
Sherlock Holmes: Our rooms …
Dr. John Watson: The rooms! Or, or, the fact that you experiment on my dog?
Sherlock Holmes: Our dog …
Dr. John Watson: The dog!
Sherlock Holmes: Gladstone is our dog!

[Mrs. Hudson starts to clear space for the tea tray]
Sherlock Holmes: Don't touch. Everything is in its proper place as per usual … Nanny. [on her way out, Mrs. Hudson notices Gladstone the dog laying on the floor]
Mrs. Hudson: Oh, he's killed the dog. Again.
Dr. John Watson: [irritated] What have you done to Gladstone now?
Sherlock Holmes: I was simply testing a new anesthetic. He doesn't mind.

Sherlock Holmes: There is a toxin, refined from the nectar of the rhododendron ponticum. It's quite infamous in the region of Turkey bordering the Black Sea for its ability to induce an apparently mortal paralysis. Enough to deceive even a medical mind as tenacious and well-trained as yours. It's known locally as …
Mary Morstan: [noticing Gladstone has been "killed" yet again] What's wrong with Gladstone?
Sherlock Holmes: …mad honey disease. Oh, he's just demonstrating the very effect I've just described. He doesn't mind.

Dr. John Watson: [about Lord Blackwood] You really believe he was resurrected?
Sherlock Holmes: The question is not if, but how. The game's afoot.
Dr. John Watson: "Follow your spirit …"
Dr. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes: [together] "And upon this charge, cry God for Harry, England and St. George!"

[Irene makes her way to the carriage]
Irene Adler: He'll do it.
Irene's Employer: Well done, Miss Adler. That's precisely why I hired you.
Irene Adler: I wager he will have our man in the next 24 hours.
Irene's Employer: He'd better. Reordan is the key to what Blackwood was doing. He's essential to my plan.
[Further conversation is interrupted when some idiotic street bum (later revealed to be Holmes in disguise) suddenly rams into the side of the carriage]
Sherlock Holmes (dressed as street bum): [slurring, as if drunk] A little rifle range could go a long way, sir. Rubbin' the calluses off these German bands – [Irene's employer brandishes a wrist-mounted gun. The bum backs off] God save the Queen. God save the Queen. [He tips his hat and walks away]

Dr. John Watson: Look at you! Why is the only woman you've ever cared about a world class criminal? Are you a masochist?
Sherlock Holmes: Allow me to explain.
Dr. John Watson: Allow me. She's the only adversary who ever outsmarted you … twice. Made a proper idiot out of you.
Sherlock Holmes: Right, you've had your fun.
Dr. John Watson: What's she after, anyway?
Sherlock Holmes: It's time to press on.
Dr. John Watson: What could she possibly need?
Sherlock Holmes: [sighs] Doesn't matter.
Dr. John Watson: Alibi? A beard. A human canoe. She could sit on your back and paddle you up the Thames.

Dr. John Watson: [About the file Irene left Holmes] I've already read it. Missing Person: Luke Reordan. 4'10", red hair, no front teeth. Case solved. You're obviously not her type. She likes ginger dwarves.
Sherlock Holmes: Midget.
Dr. John Watson: So you agree?
Sherlock Holmes: No, I don't agree. It's more than technicality.

Dr. John Watson: What were you doing [out there]?
Sherlock Holmes: Will you allow me to explain?
Dr. John Watson: I wish you would.
[Cuts back to when Irene Adler left the room. Holmes pretends to strum chords on his violin. As soon as Irene closes the door behind her, Holmes races over to the window and arrives in time to see her exiting the building. He runs back to the door. Watson is coming upstairs when Holmes comes running downstairs, and he opens the window at the midway landing]
Dr. John Watson: Holmes, what are you doing?
Sherlock Holmes: Nothing.
Dr. John Watson: Are you wearing a …
Sherlock Holmes: … false nose? No.
Dr. John Watson: [as Holmes steals his coat] Tell me that that wasn't … [before he can say "Irene Adler," Holmes jumps out the window and lands on a dumpster] Holmes, where are you going? [Holmes jumps onto another dumpster that is much lighter and the roof collapses under his weight.]
Sherlock Holmes: Watson! Uh, Watson! [Watson simply closes the window]
[Holmes makes his way up a flight of stairs and into a back street. He eventually catches up to Irene. He hides behind a stall and watches as Irene passes a man in a passageway with a bouquet of flowers]
First Man: Got some flowers for you, sweetheart. Cut you a deal 'cause you're so pretty.
Irene Adler: Oh! My lucky day!
Second Man: [comes up behind Irene and whispers in her ear] Hello gorgeous, have you got something for me?
[Irene promptly pulls out a leather cosh and strikes the second thug across the face, pull out a stiletto and points it at the face of the first thug]
Irene Adler: MOVE! [ She backs the thug into the wall, then she lowers the blade from his face to his neck and searches the man's pockets] Now what have we got here? Oh! [She takes the man's wallet, and the flower bouquet] Thank you.
Sherlock Holmes: That's the Irene I know. [He continues to follow Irene, passing through a small circus. He follows her through a small dressing tent, swiping some items to add to his disguise. Irene momentarily turns around, and does not notice that standing behind a performer carrying a weight is Holmes, wearing a top hat, a scarf, and an eyepatch over his left eye. As soon as she turns away, Holmes emerges from hiding and continues to follow her. He intercepts the carriage as it is coming along by ramming into the side of the horse, causing it to stop. The scene then fast-forwards through Holmes being yelled at by the driver and being scared off by the employer's wrist-mounted pistol and cuts to Holmes finishing his story]
Sherlock Holmes: This man intrigues me, Watson, he's got Adler on edge.
John Watson: Which is no mean feat.
Sherlock Holmes: She's intimidated. She's scared of him.
John Watson: Well she works for him.
Sherlock Holmes: Right.
John Watson: Well, it's nothing to do with me, but I advise you: Leave. The case. Alone.
Sherlock Holmes: Well, I may not have a choice, hm? After all, I may be paying the rent on my own, soon. [points his violin bow at Watson] Thanks to you.
John Watson: Get that out of my face.
Sherlock Holmes: It's not in your face; it's in my hand.
John Watson: Get what's in your hand out my face.

John Watson: [about Scotland Yard's incompetence] You boys have done an excellent job at obliterating any potential evidence.
Sherlock Holmes: Yes, but at least they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Watson: There's one thing you failed to deduce from the watch, Holmes.
Holmes: I think not.
Watson: The time. I have to get back, Holmes! Taking tea with the in-laws.

Fortune Teller: [Reading Watson's palm] Oh, I see two men. Brothers. Not in blood, but in bond.
Watson: What of Mary?
Fortune Teller: M for Mary, for Marriage. Oh, you will be married.
Watson: Go on.
Fortune Teller: Oh, I see patterned tableclothes, oh! China figurines, oh, and lace doilies!
Holmes: [mutters] Doilies.
Watson: Lace doilies? [He realizes that Holmes must have paid the fortune teller to rip him off] Holmes? Does your depravity know no boundaries?
Holmes: No.
Fortune Teller: Oh, she turns to fat! And oh, she has a beard!
Holmes: What of the warts?
Fortune Teller: Oh she's covered in warts.
Watson: Enough.
Holmes: [over Watson] Are they extensive?
Watson: Please, enough!
Holmes: It's the most apt prediction Flora has made in years, and precisely the reason you cannot find a ring.

Sherlock Holmes: [while they search Reordan's apartment] Irene Adler was here. Either that or the ginger midget wore the same Parisian perfume. [sniffs the air] Ah, putrefaction!

Watson: [looking at papers on Reordan's walls] It looks like he was attempting to combine some kind of sorcery and scientific formula.
Holmes: [noticing some papers that were burnt to cover their contents] More importantly, let's see what he was trying to dispose of.

[A chambermaid enters Irene Adler's room and screams when she sees Holmes, handcuffed naked to the bed with a pillow covering his groin]
Sherlock Holmes: Madam, I need you to remain calm. And trust me, I'm a professional. But beneath this pillow … lies the key to my release.
[The maid screams again and runs out in disgust]

[Cuts to Holmes retelling the story to Clarkie in a carriage]
Sherlock Holmes: Of course, she misinterpreted my meaning entirely.
Constable Clark: Naturally, sir.
Sherlock Holmes: That's why I find this modern religious fervor so troubling. There's no room for misunderstanding.
Constable Clark: Faith runs right over reason, sir.
Sherlock Holmes: Indeed. And chamber maids were once such a liberal breed.
Constable Clark: My wife's a chamber maid, sir. [pause] Anyhow, it's a good thing she was offended, sir. Otherwise we'd never have found you. The Inspector's been over to Baker Street himself twice this morning, sir.
Sherlock Holmes: Ah, yes.
[Another pause]
Constable Clark: Just joking about the wife, sir.

[Irene fires two shots at Dredger, before her pistol clicks empty. Dredger examines a bullet hole in his bowler hat.]
Dredger: Tu m'a manqué? ["Did you miss me?"]
Holmes: I rather wish you hadn't done that, Irene.

Sir Thomas: Mr. Holmes, apologies for summoning you like this. I'm sure it's quite a mystery as to where you are, and who I am …
Sherlock Holmes: [providing a turn by turn account of the route] As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Saffron Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves – a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left, then right, and then the tell-tale bump at the Fleet Conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The letters on your desk were addressed to a Sir Thomas Rotherham. Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you really are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the sacred ox on your ring, you're the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.
Sir Thomas: Yes, well … standard procedure, I suppose.

[Lestrade brings Holmes, handcuffed, before the Home Secretary, Lord Coward]
Inspector Lestrade: Excuse me, my lord. I know it's unorthodox, but Mr. Holmes here has been making some serious accusations about you … [lifts his lapel, showing a membership pin from the Temple of the Four Orders] … and the Order, sir.
Lord Coward: I see.
Sherlock Holmes: Well, at least that solves the great mystery of how you became Inspector.
Inspector Lestrade: [turns and punches Holmes in the stomach] Begging your pardon, my lord, but I've been wanting to do that for a long time.

[Holmes confronts Blackwood with his actions on the uncompleted Tower Bridge, Blackwood's foot tied to a yoke, threatening to pull him off. Blackwood desperately hangs on to a plank on the scaffolding]
Sherlock Holmes: There was never any magic. Only conjuring tricks. The simplest involved paying people off, like the prison guard who pretended to be possessed outside your cell. Your reputation and the immense fear did the rest. Others required more elaborate preparations, like the sandstone slab that covered your tomb. You had it broken before your burial, then put back together using a mild adhesive. An ancient Egyptian recipe, I believe. A mixture of egg and honey, designed to be washed away by the rain. [The plank Blackwood is holding on to breaks, pulling him further to the edge of the scaffolding. He manages to grab another plank, stopping his fall]
Lord Blackwood: Holmes!
Sherlock Holmes: Arranging for your own father to drown in his own bathtub required ... more modern science. Very clever of Reordan to find a paralytic that was activated by the combination of copper and water and was, therefore, undetectable once the bathwater was drained. It might've been quite a challenge for me, had he not also tested it on some unfortunate amphibians. [Another plank breaks, causing Blackwood to fall a few more feet before he grabs another plank] The death of Standish was a real mystery until you used the same compound to blow up the wharf: an odorless, tasteless, flammable liquid, yet it burned with an unusual pinkish hue. Did Standish mistake it for rain as he entered the temple? All it took was a spark, a simple rigged bullet in his gun. Ingenius. Like all great performances, you saved your piece de resistance for the end: a chemical weapon distilled from cyanide and refined in the bellies of swine. Had it worked, your followers in Parliament would've watched, unharmed, as their colleagues were dying around them. They didn't know that you'd given them the antidote. Instead, they would've believed it was magic and that you'd harnassed the ultimate power, and that the world would've fallen to you, fear being the most powerful weapon of all. You better hope that it's nothing more than superstition as you performed all the rituals perfectly. The devil's due a soul, I'd say.
Lord Blackwood: For God's sake, Holmes, cut me loose! [The plank breaks just as Holmes grabs an ax and throws it at the rope, severing Blackwood from the yoke as it falls to the Thames below.]

Dr. Watson: Get that out of my face.
Sherlock Holmes: It's not in your face, it's in my hand.
Dr. Watson: Get what's in your hand out of my face.

Quotes about Sherlock Holmes

The great detective, who has survived so much, can certainly shrug off a few special effects. ~ Roger Ebert
  • Downey's Holmes is at once more dissolute and more fit than previous incarnations. Holmes' canonical devotion to cocaine is here augmented by other drugs and a great deal of booze. Yet Holmes has the body of a lithe athlete, the skills of a gymnast and the pugilism of a world champion. He and Watson (who is, you recall, only a doctor, although one with clients who must be puzzled about his office hours) spring readily into action like Batman and Robin. … The Conan Doyle stories are still read, and probably always will be. Most readers get to at least a few. But among moviegoers on Christmas night (traditionally one of the busiest movie nights of the year), probably not so many. They will be unaware that this "Sherlock Holmes" is cheerfully revisionist. They will be entertained, and so was I. The great detective, who has survived so much, can certainly shrug off a few special effects.


  • Nothing Escapes Him
  • Crime Will Pay
  • Dangerously Alluring
  • Depraved Adversary
  • Holmes for the Holiday.



See also

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