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Sherlock Holmes - Comparing the Movie and the Book

Updated on April 21, 2012

The Main Differences Between Movie And Book

Comparing the movie Sherlock Holmes and the book can be difficult. For example, there are many similarities, but also some distinct differences. One of the most notable changes I noticed was that Sherlock is not nearly as blunt, nor violent in the book. Another difference that was noted was that in the book, the reader can follow Sherlock’s train of thought much easier. A third difference would be the difference of time periods. Though there are more similarities, there are still quite a lot of differences.

The modern day Sherlock Holmes.
The modern day Sherlock Holmes. | Source

Character - Sherlock Holmes

The character Sherlock Holmes is quite a charming fellow. In the book, Sherlock is witty, calm, resourceful, and full of knowledge. In the movie, Sherlock tends to have a slightly more aggressive approach to things, he is very blunt, and though he is extremely smart, and thinks things through, he still gets caught up in it all. Sherlock is a sucker for the ladies, and will try his hardest to find out the answer to a mystery if it involves a lady. In both the movie and book, Holmes follows his persona; a pipe, magnifying glass, and his signature jacket. Though, in the movie, Holmes did not wear his trademark hat, instead it was more or less business-man like.

Attitude- Sherlock's Ways

Sherlock most likely has ADHD, or at least appears to in the movie. He cannot focus on anything for the life of him, and he tends to blurt out anything that comes to his mind. The Holmes in the book tends to be more self-oriented, calmer, quieter, and the reader can follow his thought process. In the movie, Holmes had to stop periodically and make sure the viewers were on the `same page` as him.

The Time Period of Sherlock Holmes

Both the movie and the book take place in different time periods. In the movie, the time period is set in the 1890s to early 1900s, around the industrial revolution. In the book, the time takes place earlier than that of the movie because there is no mention of vehicles. Another hint at this time difference would be what the women wore. Though what women wore was quite close, the colours were either too bright or too plain for whichever time.


The differences of character, time period and reader feeling are some of the differences between the Sherlock Holmes movie, and Sherlock Holmes book. That is, aside from the fact that the movie is visual, and the book is not.


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    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 

      8 years ago

      And of course in the books, Holmes never once uttered the words "elemtary, my dear Watson."

    • 17Bree profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern Ontario

      There is also an American show loosely based on Sherlock Holmes: House. It`s actually quite interesting to see the similarities.

      Holmes - House

      Watson - Wilson

      Their addresses are even similar.

    • Little Nell profile image

      Little Nell 

      8 years ago from Somerset, UK

      There is a series on UK television which puts the Homes stories into a modern setting. In this Sherlock is described as having Aspergers. Good hub!

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      8 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      All I know is that I love Sherlock Holmes, what a great detective! Good article on checking out some of the differences. To me, they are all good.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Very interesting. there have been so many movies and TV shows though that I do not have a real focus on Holmes.


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