Sleuthing comes to GOMA with The Great Detective


More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first uttered the now iconic phrase ‘the game is afoot’ to his trusted companion Dr John Watson, detective films – and the brilliant characters the genre draws upon – continue to delight and surprise cinemagoers.

From 6 July to 2 September 2018, the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA presents ‘The Great Detective’ – a film program celebrating detectives on screen, bringing together a curated selection of films that delve into the mysterious and complex world of observation and deduction in the service of investigation.

Tickets for the program featuring more than 40 films including live performance are on sale now

Unique to the GOMA program

‘The Great Detective’ includes two special screenings of classic detective silent films Sherlock Holmes 1916 (11.00am, 7 July) and Sherlock Jr. 1924 (11.00am, 22 July) with live musical accompaniment by David Bailey on the Gallery’s rare Wurlitzer style 260 organ, originally housed in Brisbane’s Regent Theatre. Since it’s installation in the Australian Cinémathèque in 2006, Bailey has composed and performed new film scores for many of the silent films at GOMA.

Organist David Bailey playing the Gallery’s 1929 Wurlitzer organ / Photograph: Joe Ruckli © QAGOMA

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes 1916 will be presented with live musical accompaniment from David Bailey on the Gallery’s 1929 Wurlitzer organ.

Sherlock, Jr.

Sherlock Jr. 1924 will be presented with live musical accompaniment from David Bailey on the Gallery’s 1929 Wurlitzer organ.

The Great Detective

‘The Great Detective’ celebrates a spin on the mystery and thriller genres, and included a breadth of films from the silent era to the present day. The program features some of cinemas greatest sleuths from the professional to the amateur, and includes much loved Alfred Hitchcock suspense-thrillers, gritty dramas, and unforgettable characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

With a focus on adaptations of Christie’s novels, ‘The Great Detective’ further explores the adventures of Detective Poirot in Death on the Nile 1978 and Evil Under the Sun 1982, and Miss Marple in The Mirror Crack’d 1980. Included are adaptations of Agatha Christie’s popular mystery thriller And Then There Were None 1945 and short story ‘Witness for the Prosecution’, adapted in 1957 with the alluring Marlene Dietrich as an enigmatic femme fatale.

Key Alfred Hitchcock films in the program include The Lady Vanishes 1938, Rear Window 1954 and Vertigo 1958 – all with the director’s famed cameo appearances. It also features the Hitchcockian classic not made by Hitchcock Charade 1963. Directed by Stanley Donen Charade is a homage to the famous director and starring Hitchcock’s favourite actor Cary Grant alongside Audrey Helpburn.

Whilst most detectives featured in ‘The Great Detective’ program possess phenomenal intuition and intellect, one character in the line-up exhibits another set of skills entirely – the inept yet much-loved Inspector Clouseau from Blake Edwards’ The Pink Panther series – showcased in A Shot in the Dark 1964.

Other highlights include Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning Mystic River 2003, screening alongside his celebrated performance in Dirty Harry 1971, Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009, and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich 2000.

Tickets available online and from the GOMA Box Office from one hour prior to screenings.

EXPLORE AUSTRALIAN CINÉMATHÈQUE SCREENINGS / Delve into our silent masterpieces  / Subscribe to YouTube to watch behind-the-scenes Exhibition footage

Cinémathèque Live

Feature image: Production still from Murder on the Orient Express 1974 / Director Sidney Lumet / Image courtesy: Studio Canal