By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 6, 2013)
The Seven Percent Solution – Shout! Factory Blu-ray
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth Sherlock Holmes has weathered an infinite number of movie incarnations over the decades, but none as fascinating as Nicol Williamson’s tightly wound coke fiend in this wonderful 1977 Herbert Ross film. Intrepid sidekick Dr. Watson (Robert Duvall), concerned over his friend’s addiction, decides to do an intervention, engineering a meeting between the great detective and Dr. Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin). Naturally, there is a mystery afoot as well, but it’s secondary to the entertaining interplay between Williamson and Arkin. Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer (who adapted from his own novel) would repeat the gimmick two years later in his directing debut Time After Time, when he placed similarly odd bedfellows together in one story by pitting H.G. Wells against Jack the Ripper. Shout! Factory’s transfer is excellent; the Blu-ray also includes an interview with Meyer.