Today I crossed Patton Oswalt off the list of potential Sherlockian celebrities.
The comedian/actor/writer has nerd cred of assorted types coming out his ears, but when it comes to Sherlock Holmes . . . nada.
I was reading his recent memoir, Silver Screen Fiend, and had made it to chapter six, "Overdosing," in which he describes a lost weekend at a Hammer film festival. Each chapter in the book if prefaced by a graphic of his calendar for the period in question, in at the beginning of chapter six, my eye was pulled to the tiny scribbles in the box for October 14, 1995 and the underlined words Hound of the Baskervilles.
It's a few days before the weekend of Hammer films he describes in the chapter, but the Hammer film festival seems to have been going days before (Hound of the Baskervilles was followed by Horror of Dracula, Stranglers of Bombay, and These are the Damned) and the fact they're also on his calendar, combined with his descriptions of his movie addiction at the time, tends to make on think he saw them.
Yes, no mention of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, or that redressed set for Baskerville Hall that also served as Castle Dracula in the movie following it on the bill. Not that the Hammer Hound is a stand-out among all the other more outre Hammer offerings.
Patton Oswalt is writing about his time as an absolute film junkie, and yet no mention of Sherlock Holmes. Which makes one wonder about just how key films are to the legend of Sherlock Holmes. We all know fans who came to Sherlock Holmes via Conan Doyle, Jeremy Brett, and Benedict Cumberbatch, in print and on television. And Rathbone had his day . . . though his movies probably gained more fans in television reruns, which makes them comparable to BBC Sherlock's small-screen output in quantity and duration. But on the big screen, in the theater? How many top movie moment in our lives came via Sherlock Holmes? (They don't count if you came to said movie as a fan already!)
Funny how much over-thinking one can give four scribbled words in a very full book. But that's the blogosphere for you.