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Hawkeye's avatar

Who was a better detective?

Asked by Hawkeye (1250points) August 26th, 2010

Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot

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28 Answers

ucme's avatar

Elementary my dear… ;¬}

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t know whodunit it better, but my favorite dicks have to be Sam Spade (Bogart in Maltese Falcon) and Philip Marlowe (Bogart again in The Big Sleep). I also loved Elliott Gould as Marlowe in The Long Goodbye.

Jeruba's avatar

I love them both, but I don’t know who could beat Mr. Holmes for deductive logic, for voracious appetite for facts of every kind and hence for the encyclopedic database in his brain, and for the number of obscure monographs he happens to have written that pertain to the case at hand.

With respect to warranted vanity, they are probably on par.

Austinlad's avatar

@Jeruba, I agree, although I’ve never been a huge Holmes fan. Years ago I had a boss who spotted the elderly Basil Rathbone at an airport sitting by himself and looking very forlorn. A huge Holmes/Rathbone fan, he walked over and introduced himself. He said Rathbone literally pulled him down and begged him to chat a awhile he was so bored.

MacBean's avatar

In my book, Holmes is better than just about anyone/anything ever.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I once played Holmes on stage. Getting inside his skin and head was damned difficult. He was so conflicted. He was at once logical and at the same time an addict. He was dedicated to rooting out the truth, and simultaneously in denial about his own fallibility.

The script was not first-rate, and I had no direction. I’m not sure I did a very good job.

Still, I have to say that I find Holmes the more convincing of the two.

janbb's avatar

Holmes is sui generis.

zen_'s avatar

Robert Downey Junior seems to be able to get out of every situation he gets himself into. Shit, is this in General for some reason?

ipso's avatar

Sam Spade

“She was a blonde. The kind of blonde that would make a bishop kick-in a stained glass window.”

serafina's avatar

Shame i was thinking of Columbo :D

MacBean's avatar

@serafina “Just one more thing…” ♥

Austinlad's avatar

Hey, @ipso how about Bogart’s great line as Philip Marlowe?

“She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.”

ipso's avatar

Yes @Austinlad – The Big Sleep! A GREAT movie!

Austinlad's avatar

Let’s not forget the intrepid Inspector J. Clouseau.

Meg: Do you know something about machinery?
Inspector Jacques Clouseau: I don’t know something about machinery, I know everything about machinery.

ipso's avatar

“That’s not my dog.”

Austinlad's avatar

@ipso, ah yes, that is not my dog. Great line.

As for The Big Sleep, both director (Howard Hawkes) and author (Ray Chandler) professed to have not the slightest idea what the plot was about.

ipso's avatar

@serafina – Of the TV detectives, I’ll have to go with Jim Rockford (over Magnum PI – his direct artistic sibling.)

(I recently just watched the entire first season of Rockford Files on NetFlix, and the stupid song is stuck in my head big time. Almost every shot of that first year is a known location, and many within a few miles of my house. Strange to watch.)

Frenchfry's avatar

Sherlock Holmes… even if he was a nut and cocaine addict.

Aster's avatar

Peter Sellers . (-;

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

jk, Holmes.

BratLady's avatar

No s**t Sherlock.

filmfann's avatar

1. Sherlock Holmes
2. Perry Mason
3. Gregory House
4. Sam Spade
5. Philip Marlow

naconasong's avatar

I always liked Sherlock it is just elementary to me I guess :)

Jeruba's avatar

Other detectives I have loved (all—here and above—referring to their literary presences and not a screen version):

Lord Peter Wimsey
Father Brown
Miss Jane Marple
Dr. Gideon Fell
Prof. Gervase Fen

and especially…

Nero Wolfe

with a deep, respectful bow toward C. Auguste Dupin, the first fictional detective, created by Edgar Allen Poe.

MacBean's avatar

@Jeruba I wish I could lurve you twice for mentioning Peter Wimsey.

birdland33's avatar

@filmfann Perry Mason was the attorney. Paul Drake was the detective.

Quincy, ME

filmfann's avatar

@birdland33 Perry Mason was the attorney, but also had the detectives mind. Paul Drake would find stuff out, but never put the pieces together.

ipso's avatar

Also Mike Hammer, the Mickey Spillane character.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Hard core Noir baby! (Surely the sound, once she gets into the car, is all about her having sex with him. Sly innuendo during the production code and all. No?)

He wasn’t exactly the best detective, but he did have a pretty cool early Jaguar XK140. Before they trash it off Mulholland Dr. anyway.

The light-filled briefcase in the end is quoted directly in Repo Man (1984) and Pulp Fiction (1994).

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