Lelíček in the Services of Sherlock Holmes

Karel Lamač, 1932


In 1932, Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective was adapted for the screen via this unique comedy, inspired by an eponymous literary work from Czech author Hugo Vavrečka. Sherlock Holmes is played by Martin Frič – mainly a film director, but also an occasional actor with a major interest in the crime genre. Holmes, conceived with sardonic irony, teams up with the main protagonist – the wily František Lelíček (Vlasta Burian), who, in light of his debt woes, accepts an offer to become a double to Puerto Rican king Fernando XXIII. Ultimately, Lelíček gains both a regal post and the affections of the queen (Lída Baarová). Director Karel Lamač also filmed a concurrent French version featuring Pierre Bertin in the main dual role (once again, Frič portrayed Holmes, while the queen was played by Truda Grosslichtová). Lamač’s passion for Doyle is underscored by his subsequent adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles shot in Germany in 1937 (as Der Hund von Baskerville).
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1932
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres comedy
Form feature
Duration 92 min
Director Karel Lamač
Cast Vlasta Burian, Martin Frič, Fred Bulín, Lída Baarová, Eva Jansenová
Director of photography Otto Heller, Jan Stallich
Screenplay Václav Wasserman
Editor Martin Frič
Production designer Hanuš Gödert, Heinz Fenchel
Music Josef Kumok
Sound designer Helmuth Neumann, Josef Zora