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The opening title card reads: "Fox Film presents Conan Doyle's Master Detective-Sherlock Holmes-Played by Clive Brook." Screen credits also note that William Gillette's play was acquired "with permission of the executors of the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." Clive Brook first played Holmes in the first talking picture to feature the detective, Paramount's 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes. In 1930, Brook again appeared in the role in a sketch entitled "Murder Will Out," which was a segment in the revue picture Paramount on Parade (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30). Although Hollywood Reporter production charts list Wyndham Standing in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
According to modern sources, Brook disliked this feature, believing that director William K. Howard denigrated the Conan Doyle characters, and added new scenes to the script as shooting progressed without consideration for the time it took the actors to learn the new lines. Modern sources also note that Herbert Mundin and Ivan Simpson were originally cast as Watson. William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes was performed by Gillette on the Lux Radio Theater on November 18, 1935. Other films based specifically on Gillette's play include the 1916 Essanay film Sherlock Holmes, directed by Arthur Berthelet and starring William Gillette and Marjorie Kay (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20); the 1922 M-G-M film Shelock Holmes, directed by Albert Parker and starring John Barrymore and Roland Young (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30); and the 1939 Twentieth Century-Fox film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Many other films and television programs have been based on the stories and characters created by Conan Doyle, but are not specifically based on Gillette's play. Among the other films featuring the character are the Twentieth Century-Fox series featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which moved to Universal in the 1940s, and the British-made Thames Television series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett, that began in 1984 with a production of A Scandal in Bohemia and which will continue until all of the original Sherlock Holmes stories have been filmed. For additional information on other films from the 1930s featuring the character, consult the Series Index and for The Hound of the Baskervilles.