Appeal For Clues Over Missing Sherlock Film
A worldwide hunt has begun to find a copy of the first ever feature film starring Sherlock Holmes which was released 100 years ago.
A Study In Scarlet, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book, is about a murder which takes place on Brigham Young's trek across America with his Mormon followers.
Holmes solves a series of murders through masterly deduction.
The 1914 film has not been seen in generations and the British Film Institute is hoping the mystery of its whereabouts can be solved.
Its call-out coincides with a landmark exhibition on the consulting detective at the Museum of London, opening on October 17.
Alex Werner, curator of the exhibition, said: "The long filmic history of Sherlock Holmes is unique - dominating popular culture in a manner only to be rivalled perhaps by Dracula or Frankenstein.
"As we prepare for the museum's major exploration of the most famous fictional Londoner of all time, it would be a remarkable achievement to discover this missing film in its centenary year, and at the very least, remind the public of Sherlock's endurance on-screen, interpreted literally hundreds of times for over a century."
Bryony Dixon, curator, Silent Film, BFI National Archive said: "Every archivist dreams of finding lost films. But this is a film of great importance. Sherlock Holmes is internationally renowned as a great detective. It would be wonderfully appropriate if a super-sleuth could help us celebrate the centenary of this film with a chance to see it."
A Study in Scarlet was the first film director George Pearson made for the Samuelson Manufacturing Company.
The casting of Holmes was a challenge, as it has been for film-makers since.
As Pearson recalled in his autobiography, "much depended upon his physical appearance, build, height, and mannerisms," and it was important to find an actor who could live up to the general public's idea of the great detective.
Luckily, one of Samuelson's employees fitted the bill.
James Bragington was not an actor but Pearson was confident that he would be able to control his performance sufficiently.
He was pleased with the results and felt that Bragington had played the part "excellently". A Study in Scarlet is Bragington's only known film credit.
The film was shot at Worton Hall studios and on location in the summer of 1914. Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and Southport Sands in Merseyside stood in for the Rocky Mountains and the Utah plains.
If you solve the mystery contact Sherlockholmes@bfi.org.uk or via social media using #findSherlock.