20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn and Dom DeLuise
Extras: Commentary Track, Theatrical Trailer
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is on a roll currently, releasing a good batch of Mel Brooks film on DVD, finally, and in the wake of it, also bringing us the films of one of Brooks' closest collaborators, Gene Wilder. Here we have the 1975 comedy "The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" and the experience of viewing this film again after all these years is absolutely marvelous.
In "The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" Gene Wilder plays Sigerson Holmes, the little brother of the detective genius, living in the shadow of his bigger brother. One day, Sherlock decides to pass one of his cases on to Sigerson and we end up witnessing a hilarious murder mystery movie unfold in front our eyes, spiced up with some of the greatest comedy actors form the 70s.
While Gene Wilder is the movie's main character one can't help but point out that it is really Madeline Kahn who once again steals the show. Sultry and sexy, she wraps not only the story's characters around her fingers but also the viewer. Throw in Marty Feldman and you have a trio on the screen that simply cannot be matched in terms of chaotic craziness uproarious dialogue deliveries. There's not a moment when there isn't something going on in the foreground, the background or in the lines the actors speak that will have you smile, smirk or roll on the floor.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has prepared a great-looking transfer for the film on this release. The disc contains the fullframe and the widescreen version of the movie. Interestingly instead of allowing to select the version form the main menu, they are actually placed on the flip sides of the disc, which appears a bit archaic in this day and age.
Although the transfer is a bit grainy at times the image quality is good throughout and the picture contains a good level of detail. Color saturation is good, creating warm interiors and atmospheric outdoor shots. Skin tones are always naturally rendered while the transfer's black levels are solid and provide good visual depth. No edge-enhancement is evident in the transfer and the compression is also without flaws or artifacts.
The release contains the movie's original mono audio track which gives the release a bit of a vintage feel. Because of the technical limitations of the production audio has a limited frequency response and does sound a bit harsh at times. It is without sibilance or distortion, however, making it a solid presentation nonetheless. Optional language tracks in French and Spanish are also provided as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
As an extra the DVD contains a commentary track with Gene Wilder in which he discusses the making of the movie, the origins of the story as well as the collaboration with his fellow cast members, which he had been working with on many other occasions before and after the making of this film.
The movie's original theatrical trailer can be found on the DVD as well.
I didn't even know they still make DVD-10s but there's something new to learn every day. "The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" is a hilarious spoof on the murder mystery genre and is as chaotic as only a film with Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn and Dom DeLuise can get. Seriously. These comedians have a characteristic quality that has been entirely lost to the industry and modern comedies in that they are really, really wacky and funny. With a $14.95 sticker price, this release is a must have for everyone who wants to get a good laugh. Seriously!