Dahesh Movie Night


As we repair damage caused by a frozen waterline, our Sherlock Holmes films each Wednesday will go on temporary hiatus until further notice. We will resume where we left off, so we can continue to watch the progression of Sherlock Holmes from decade to decade.

These free screenings have led to a great deal of discussion about the vibrancy of 19th-century popular culture and how it continues to influence the popular culture of today. Attendees at a recent screening discussed how the 19th century saw the debut of numerous fictional characters who continue to have deep and profound cultural relevance. Figures as diverse as Ebenezer Scrooge, Dorian Gray, Alice in Wonderland, Capt. Nemo, Madame Bovary, Tom Sawyer, Allan Quatermain, Anna Karenina, Dracula, and the Frankenstein Monster were all introduced in the 19th century and continue to appear in films, novelized sequels, and re-imaginings. The wonderful panorama that was 19th-century pop culture continues to inspire and challenge, and many of the greatest literary figures of the period became archetypes.

Another point discussed at a recent screening was how each and every Sherlock Holmes film is not only a meditation on the Victorian Era, but upon the time in which the film was made, as well. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) presented the character in a manner consistent with then-current counter-culture figures, while A Study in Terror was structured like the thrillers of the time. The Sherlock Holmes films of the 1940s present a Churchill-quoting super-patriot, while the Sherlock Holmes in Murder By Decree (1979) maneuvers through a Victorian political scene that could only be called post-Watergate.

Watch for our restart of the series when we screen The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother in the weeks ahead.


The Dahesh Museum of Art will make no mystery about how to start the New Year with a series of classic Sherlock Holmes films beginning Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Screenings begin at 6:30 PM, are free to the public, and are introduced with a brief overview of the film and its context within the cinematic history of Sherlock Holmes. Screenings are held in the Dahesh Museum of Art Gift Shop located at 145 Sixth Avenue on the corner of Dominick Street, one block south of Spring Street. Complimentary popcorn and soft drinks are provided, and the screenings are wheelchair accessible.

The Sherlock Holmes films include:

Wednesday, January 7: Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) with Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene, Lionel Atwill, and John Carradine. Running time: 80 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14: Pearl of Death (1944) with Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, Miles Mander, and Rondo Hatton. Running time: 69 minutes.

Wednesday, January 21: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) with Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, and Christopher Lee. Running time: 87 minutes.

Wednesday, January 28: A Study in Terror (1965) with John Neville, Donald Houston, Anthony Quayle, and Judi Dench. Running time: 95 minutes.

Wednesday, February 11: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) with Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely, Christopher Lee, and Clive Revill. Running time: 125 minutes.

Wednesday, February 18: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975) with Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Leo McKern, Dom DeLuise, and Douglas Wilmer. Running time: 91 minutes.

Wednesday, February 25: The Seven-Percent Solution (1976) with Nicol Williamson, Robert Duvall, Laurence Oliver, Vanessa Redgrave, Joel Grey, and Alan Arkin as Sigmund Freud. Running time: 113 minutes.

Wednesday, March 11: Murder By Decree (1979) with Christopher Plummer, James Mason, John Gielgud, Anthony Quayle, Frank Finlay, Donald Sutherland, David Hemmings, Susan Clark, and Geneviève Bujold. Running time: 124 minutes.

Wednesday, March 18: Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) with Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Nigel Stock, and Freddie Jones. Running time: 109 minutes.

Wednesday, March 25: Without a Clue (1988) with Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones, Nigel Davenport, and Peter Cook. Running time: 107 minutes.

“We had so much fun with our previous film series tying together 19th-century novels to pop culture, that we decided revisit the same idea,” said J. David Farmer, Director of Exhibitions at the Dahesh Museum of Art. “Few figures of 19th- century popular culture loom larger than Sherlock Holmes, and we hope to take away some of the winter chill with warm memories of movies about the world’s greatest detective.”