Sherlock Holmes: The Archive Collection : Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916)

Run Time - 28 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Silent superstar Douglas Fairbanks lampoons both his dashing onscreen persona and the detective mystery genre in this curious little two-reeler. Detective Coke Ennyday (Fairbanks) wears a drooping mustache, odd clothes, and starts his day with some hootch and a few hypodermics. The police call and ask him to track down a smuggler, which he does with a lot of artificial "help." He also has to save the girl, played by Bessie Love, who is trapped in a Chinese laundry, more opportunity for the wily detective to get high. The finale is a burlesque battle between Ennyday and the villain, followed by a coda showing Fairbanks telling the story to a studio scenario editor. The editor, much to Fairbanks' disgust, tells him to stick to acting. This film was directed by John Emerson and written by his wife Anita Loos (the pair were Fairbanks' frequent collaborators in the mid-'10s). It had a small cult revival in the early '70s because of its brazen displays of drug usage.



detective, drugs, investigation, laundry-room, smuggling, tracking [following], trapped, villain