Den Graa Dame

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
John (Poul Welander) arrested by Sherlock Holmes (Viggo Larsen), with Willy (Elith Pio) on the right
The Gray Dame, released 11 september 1909, 975 feet (The Moving Picture World, 18 september 1909, p. 397)

Den Graa Dame (The Grey Lady) is a Danish silent movie released on 27 august 1909, produced by Nordisk Film Co., starring Viggo Larsen as Sherlock Holmes. 975 feet. Black & White.

The 6th sherlockian movie by the Nordisk Film Company of Denmark.

Other titles:

  • Sherlock Holmes VI
  • Af Sherlock Holmes Oplevelser VI
  • The Gray Dame (USA) 11 september 1909
  • The Gray Dame of Sherlock Holmes' Memories (USA) 5 october 1909

Survival status: presumed lost.


  • Sherlock Holmes : Viggo Larsen
  • Lord Beresford : Gustav Lund
  • Willy, Lord Beresfords' son : Elith Pio
  • John, Lord Beresfords' nephew : Poul Welander



  • 1. Letter: My Dear Uncle, I thank you very much for your kind invitation to visit you at Beresford Castle. I shall take the train 8:12 on Wednesday morning.
  • 2. After dinner
  • 3. When the Grey Dame appears the eldest Beresford must die
  • 4. The Grey Dame appears for the first time
  • 5. Lord Beresford's death
  • 6. John leaves the castle
  • 7. John returns secretly
  • 8. Willy sees the Grey Dame
  • 9. Letter: Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street, London. Some mysterious advents have lately occured on Castle Beresford, and have already cost the death of one human being. Kindly call as soon as possible before more misfortunes happen.
  • 10. Sherlock Holmes
  • 11. The secret door
  • 12. Outwitted
  • 13. Unmasking the scoundrel

Plot summary

The Moving Picture World, 11 september 1909, p. 344
  • The Moving Picture World, 11 september 1909, p. 344

THE GRAY DAME (Great Northern).
In taking up the strong vein of detective romances with which the name of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is associated with, the Great Northern Film Company show considerable shrewdness, for the doings of Sherlock Holmes and his miraculous success in unraveling apparently insoluble mysteries appear to have struck the imagination of the world, and especially the juveniles, for all time. Mention Sherlock Holmes and the mind instantly conjures up murder, mystery, confusion and finally happiness, due to the master mind of Baker street, London. We know Baker street, London. It is the home of many modern curiosities of intellect and Doyle wisely choose it as the home of his star detective. But to the splendid story illustrated in the latest Great Northern film: There is a legend in a noble English family, that when the Gray Dame, a respectable family ghost appears, then the eldest son of the house dies. This paves the way for an ingenious plot on the part of a visitor, who sees, it is to be supposed, early possession of the title and estate by the removal of father and son. Well, the Gray Dame appears, the lady of course being the conspirator dressed up for the occasion. In this manor the death of the old lord is assured. Then the son is similarly attacked by this Gray Dame, who has discovered secret doors in the castle. In this dilemma,Sherlock Holmes is sent for, and he also discovers the secret doors. But in doing so he discovers too much, for the Gray Dame outwits Mr. Holmes, and at a very critical moment precipitates the detective into a subterranean dungeon, where presumably he is to rot to death. The resourceful Holmes, however, gets busy on the walls, discovers a secret door which opens, and so regains entrance to the castle. Disguising himself as the son of the house he awaits the next appearance of the Gray Dame, who is considerably surprised when paying her visit, to be attacked, held and unmasked by Holmes and the servants. The culprit is presumably marched off to prison and happiness is restored to the castle.

The story is full of exciting movements, and the plot is worked out with decision and sureness of attack. There is not a lingering moment in the story, which moves rapidly, tensely and convincingly, as all detective stories should. Above all it is exceedingly well acted and then it has been very nicely set and mounted. The furniture of the castle, the uniforms, the carriages and the horses, everything, in fact, are provided to give the romance an aspect of verisimilitude. Yet again, as we watched this picture, which is a very fine piece of photographic work, we found our unemotional selves being carried away by the excitement of the story. And later when we told a small boy of nine what we had seen, he clapped his hands and said, "Oh, I wish I could see that picture." We have no doubt a similar reception awaits this latest great Northern success at the hands of the public."

  • Titles credits : The Great Northern Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Bjarne Nielsen (Pinkerton, 1997)