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Central London Street Scenes

These atmospheric scenes of the Thames and central London (including some spoiled by fog) were shot for the Sherlock Holmes feature The Sign of Four.

Travelogue 1923 13 mins Silent


This short reel opens with a clapperboard showing the title 'Sign of Four', a Sherlock Holmes feature by Maurice Elvey. The shots of a motor boat going under Thames bridges and a grand saloon driving through central London streets are probably production footage from the feature's climactic chase scene, taking in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge and busy traffic in the Strand and Hyde Park.

The Stoll film, The Sign of Four, was one of two feature length films in its Sherlock Holmes series (the other was The Hound of the Baskervilles). It was released in 1923 and starred Eillie Norwood as the great detective. The film's climax involves one long chase from a house in Twickenham all the way along the Thames to the docklands, with Holmes in a boat and the villains in a car. Presumably the scenes presented here were all 'no good' - spoiled shots that never made the final cut. Some look as if they have been taken in foggy conditions. Digitisation supported by the London Topographical Society.