I should have been more daring [with The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
] but, unfortunately, the son of Conan Doyle was there.
I wanted to make Holmes a homosexual. That’s why he is on dope.
Look, we have been freed now from the Breen Office
or the Johnston Office
or that stupid thing.
In many respects, it’s terrifying because now any idiot and any pornographer can do anything.
But for the ones who are a little bit discriminating, who do it delicately, a grand new thing has opened.
But that was after [I made] Private Life
The saddest thing about the film is that it was a waste of a year and a half of my life.
When you get to be my age, you say, 'Shit, if I just had the time back that I wasted on pictures that were failures.'
But I’m not ashamed of it. There are many pictures I wish I could scratch out, but this one I’m not ashamed of.
Billy Wilder, on his original intent for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
- Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have stated TPLoSH was used as their main inspiration and “template” for Sherlock, and Gatiss considers Wilder to be one of “the best screenwriters in the world”. [x]
- On Holmes’ drug use in TPLoSH, Wilder has said: "I should have been more daring. I have this theory. I wanted Holmes homosexual and not admitting it to anyone, including maybe even himself. The burden of keeping it a secret was the reason he took dope." [x]
- "The Breen Office" is in reference to Joseph Breen, one of the primary film censors who applied the Hays Code of “moral censorship guidelines” to Hollywood productions from the 1930s onwards: [x]
- "The Johnston Office" is in reference to Eric Johnston, the president of the MPAA who took part in creating the Hollywood Blacklist, which denied employment based on alleged membership in or sympathy with the American Communist Party, involvement in progressive political causes, or refusal to assist in government investigations from the 1940s onwards. [x]
(Quote from ‘Brief Encounters: Lesbians and Gays in British Cinema 1930-1971’ [x])
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