Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes


Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes

Vasily Livanov is my all-time favorite actor to portray Sherlock Holmes. Born to actor Boris Livanov, Vasily's upbringing was steeped in the artistic milieu. His trademark hoarse voice led to prodigious work in many Russian cartoon productions.

His greatest success as an actor is undeniably as Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary creation, Sherlock Holmes. His Holmes is a highly refined intellectual with extraordinary skills in observation and deduction.


Though Livanov is a tad short to match the physical description of Sherlock Holmes, he invests a lot of wisdom and humor in the role. Livanov's Holmes occasionally wears spectacles as well. To the best of my knowledge, this is quite unique among all the adaptations.


Livanov's Holmes is assertive and masterly. Livanov presents a very calm and collected version of Holmes that readers of the Canon will instantly recognize.


Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes


Unlike another great Sherlock Holmes impersonator, the great Basil Rathbone, Livanov is not saddled with a dumbed down version of Watson. Basil was an excellent Holmes and he would have been the definitive version, but for the gentleman portraying Dr Watson.

Vitaly Solomin is a great foil as the ever-dependable ally and friend, Dr. John Watson. Solomin's Watson is exactly as Conan Doyle had envisioned him to be: a true friend of Holmes and a competent doctor in his own right.



Vitaly Solomin as Dr John Watson
Vitaly Solomin as Dr John Watson

While it is inarguable that the observation and deduction skills of Holmes have made him the most prominent fictional detective in the world, the camaraderie between Holmes and Watson is the other major ingredient that has made Conan Doyle's works so successful.

The literary success of the Holmes-Watson duo has inspired many other similar team-ups (Agatha Christie's Poirot-Hastings is a famous example). True to the spirit of the works that inspired this adaptation, Livanov and Solomin share an excellent on-screen chemistry.


Russian Monument dedicated to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
Russian Monument dedicated to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
Both Livanov and Solomin have been immortalized in bronze as Holmes and Watson near the British Embassy in Moscow.

Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin in a 4-coin set to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes

Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin are featured in a 4-coin set released to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes

The critical acclaim and public reception for Livanov's work is not just limited to Russia. He was awarded in 2006 with an Honorary MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. New Zealand Mint released a 4-coin set to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes, featuring Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin.

Click here to read all my posts about the Russian adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by email or RSS by clicking here.

Image Sources: Lenfilm Films Studio, Sherlockian Who's WhoAlexander Sodov

© 2014 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. All text are copyrighted and owned by the author of this blog. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

For instant updates,

28 comments:

  1. Nice one..this sherlock n watson duo look more of a classical adaptation. Check out this review of the modern take on Sherlock on BBC One.
    http://brothersbloom.blogspot.com/2012/03/sherlock-series-that-defines-sherlock.html?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, this adaptation is faithful to the canon and is one of the best adaptations out there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hadn't thought about this adaptation in years. Thanks for the reminder. Enjoy your Holmes' blogs BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Kathleen - You are welcome!

    I am sure you will enjoy the Russian adaptation :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ohh, Russian actors - Looks like I'll have to check this one out! And thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. @The Existentially Curious - Always a pleasure to visit a Sherlockian's blog!

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh I really have to check this out! :D and thanks for visiting my blog (:

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will definitely be watching this! Thanks for the tip. Sherlock Holmes is just one of those things I keep coming back to again and again!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Anzu - Livanov is my favorite Holmes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Livanov is my favorite Holmes too...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra. Always a pleasure to hear from a fellow fan of Livanov :)

      Delete
  11. thanks for your comment on my blog. i love these adaptations so much. the balance that vasily livanov brings to the role is excellent and vitaly solomin gives us a watson who, while often dazzled by holmes, is no sycophant and definitely no fool. the fact that the russian censors would not allow any references to drugs probably aided livanov's calm and trust-inspiring rendering of holmes, but it is a brilliant one nonetheless. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Solomin is, in my humble opinion, the definitive Watson. As superb as Livanov is in the role, it is Solomin who is the true star of the series.

      I consider this series along with the 1964-68 BBC series (with Douglas Wilmer/Peter Cushing as Holmes and Nigel Stock as Watson) to be the best ever adaptations of the canon.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  12. I could not agree more with your comparison with the other adaptations and on why this one the better one is... Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very interesting post, among many others you have written! Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comments. I will have to see the Russian version. Best regards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure you will like the Russian version :)

      Delete
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8fSqg69vr4&feature=watch-now-button&wide=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYliNh3yKwo&feature=watch-now-button&wide=1
    The Hound of the Baskervilles I-II (1981)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the links. You can watch the entire series (with English subtitles) by clicking here .

      Cheers!

      Delete
  15. Sir Livanov is pure Holmes. I wish he was real!
    Genius work! This movie is definitely on my top list of movies.
    Thank you for the interesting post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. Glad that you enjoyed the post so much.

      Sir Vasily Livanov is the best actor ever to play Holmes. He embraced the spirit and body language of Holmes better than any other actor. Long live Sir Livanov!

      Delete
  16. Hello there! First, I'm sorry for my poor English, I'm Russian.
    I read somewhere that the music from the Russian series about Sherlock Holms (composed by Vladimir Dashkevich) is played in the museum in Baker Street. Could you confirm this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      A pleasure to meet a fan of the Russian series!

      I have not been to the Baker Street museum and cannot confirm from my own experience.

      I checked up on the museum's website . I believe the music from the Granada series (composed by Patrick Gowers) is the one that is played.

      Hope that helps.

      B2B.

      Delete
  17. I watch this movie all the time and don't get tired. This adaptation is truly the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with you. The Russian adaptation is simply the best.

      Thanks for the comment.

      B2B.

      Delete
  18. it's funny. I have checked out many "best Sherlock Holmes movies" or "best portrayals of Sherlock Holmes". These movies didn't even come up, though in my opinion they deserve first place. I guess people just don't want to watch anything with subtitles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by.

      I agree with you about the Russian adaptation being the best. Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin nailed the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson respectively. The direction, sets, costumes and soundtrack - all are top-notch, befitting the genius of Arthur Conan Doyle.

      B2B.

      Delete