Synopsis by Mark Deming
Comic actor Gene Wilder made his debut as a writer and director in this period comedy in which he plays Sigerson Holmes, the older bother of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. For years, Sigerson has been living in his little brother's shadow, and he is convinced that he must constantly prove his superiority to his brother in all things at all times. Of course, he often fails, but one can't argue with his determination. In this story, Sherlock (Douglas Wilmer) and his faithful assistant, Watson (Thorley Walters), are called away from England on an assignment, and Sherlock asks Sigerson if he wouldn't mind looking into a case for him. With typically misguided enthusiasm, Sigerson is hot on the trail of a cache of missing government documents, whose theft may be the dirty work of the wicked Moriarty (Leo McKern). Sigerson is assisted in his investigation by Olville Sacker (Marty Feldman), a bumbling Scotland Yard detective who claims to have photographic hearing, and the mysterious and seductive Jenny Hill (Madeline Kahn). Gene Wilder rose to fame in the offbeat comedies of director Mel Brooks, so it was fitting that, for his first film as a director, Wilder cast Brooks in a cameo role (he's heard but not seen after discovering that the door he chose had the tiger, not the lady).
brother, clue, decoy, detective, document, fencing [sport], inventor, investigation, jealousy, mayhem, murder, opera, private-detective, professor, Scotland-Yard, secrets, sibling, songwriter