The Hound of the Baskervilles NR

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(18) IMDb 7.7/10

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

Starring:
Richard Greene, Basil Rathbone
Runtime:
1 hour, 21 minutes

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Customer Reviews

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It is suspenseful and has a good story line.
Barbara
If ever there was a piece of perfect casting for a film it would have to be the superb combination of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
Simon Davis
For someone who has no exposure to the Holmes / Rathbone character I will say this is a good way to get hooked on the series.
Edward F. Lapinskas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on October 20, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Of all the many versions of this often filmed story, Twentieth Century Fox's 1939 filming of "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" is rightfully considered to be not only a classic but also the finest version to be put onto film. Boasting the superb talents of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the roles that became their trademarks, the film is a superb blend of mystery, suspense and classic adventure in its telling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous story of the curse that plagues a titled family through many generations in the form of a savage hound that causes the demise of each male member of the clan.
Twentieth Century Fox put all of their considerable resources into this lavish production and the film was a great success, so much so that they quickly followed it with another film
"The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes" with the same main cast which enjoyed equal success. Unfortunately for some unknown reason Fox then handed the series over to Universal, possibly as a result of rising costs as World War Two approached. Universal made the serious mistake of up dating the series to a 1940's setting and had Holmes and Watson doing battle with Nazi etc. In all there was finally 14 films made in the series. It is however for the first two films that Sherlock Holmes's fame rests and certainly "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" is the most famous and best loved of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories based around the famous detective .
If ever there was a piece of perfect casting for a film it would have to be the superb combination of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Never has there been such a perfect marriage of actor and character as here and for Rathbone in particular the part became his absolute trademark and was the interpretation that was used as a benchmark for all the later Holmes's.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on April 6, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
The 1939 film version of Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is one of the best of the series of Holmes classics starring the very proper Basil Rathbone as Holmes and the bumbling Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, who are both excellent as usual. The settings capture the effect of the foggy desolate moors in which the plot takes place.

Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead steps from his estate in Dartmoor, Baskerville Hall. His best friend Dr. Mortimer played by a Freud-looking Lionel Atwill suspects the cause was heart failure however fears foul play. Sir Charles' death is attributed to the curse of the Baskervilles, where the heirs to the estate meet with violent death.

Sir Charles' nephew Henry played by a dimpled Richard Greene is arriving from Canada to inherit the estate. Dr. Mortimer travels to London to visit Holmes and Watson to help protect Sir Henry from a similar fate.

The bulk of the story takes place in the moors of Devonshire where the eerie surroundings and baying of the accursed hound make for a suspenseful tale. John Carradine playing the suspicious butler Barryman is at his pop eyed best. Wendy Barrie playing neighbor Beryl Stapleton is a fetching love interest for Sir Henry. The most interesting character is the litigious, Scottish curmudgeon Frankland played convincingly by screen veteran Barlowe Borland.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on November 18, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A phantom hound roams the moors of Dartmoor near Baskerville Hall.........Putting its straightest face upon the matter and being so weird as all get-out, the film succeeds rather well in reproducing Sir Arthur's macabre detective story. Based upon the 1902 novel by Sir Conan Doyle, this was the first film in the Fox series featuring Sherlock Holmes. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES was Rathbone's favourite of the series, and although it wasn't quite the best one (that honour would have to go to THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES - which was released later that year - 1939); it runs a close second. Rathbone had always felt himself a good, logical choice for the role of Holmes; indeed he became the character he played - an actor perfectly suited for his part - he played the role in 14 films as well as over 200 radio performances. Credit must also be given to Nigel Bruce, who was cast in the role of Watson primarily due to Rathbone's personal selection. Bruce's interpretation of Watson was actually far from the original character Doyle created, but many actors henceforth seemed to emulate Bruce's version of him. Be sure to catch the classic final line: "Oh, Watson, the needle!".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is probably the definitive Sherlock Holmes film with the ultimate Holmes and Watson in Rathbone and Bruce. For the first in this memorable series of 14 films, it is astonishing how Basil Rathbone portrays his role with such distinction in his Holmes debut, while Nigel Bruce is equally appealing. The film is very well directed for its time, and the brooding atmosphere of the novel, particularly the moorland scenes, is splendidly captured. It is fairly true to Conan Doyle's story, and maintains a cracking pace that can be enjoyed by more than just Holmes fans. There are a few minor irritations: the irrelevant and annoying seance scene, (the only real deviation from the book); the curious name-change of Barrymore to Barryman (a script-writer's oversight?. In addition, the hapless acting of the villain, Selden, makes him one of the least convincing bad guys on film but what the heck, this all adds to the fun! Terrific.
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