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The Hound of the Baskervilles

4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"But without the imagination, Watson, there would be no horror." - Sherlock Holmes

Acclaimed actor Ian Richardson dons the deerstalker hat in this lively interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth. Nothing will stop the relentless and always elegant detective in his search for the truth about a legendary beast out for blood. The Lord of the Baskervilles is dead, seemingly killed by the slavering jaws of a supernatural monster of the moors. Arriving in the fog-drenched English countryside, Holmes and Watson battle hatred and treachery to unravel the eerie mystery of an ancient curse that aims to destroy the last Baskerville heir. Also stars Donald Churchill, Denholm Elliott, Martin Shaw, Glynis Barber, Brian Blessed, Eleanor Bron, Edward Judd, Connie Booth and David Langton.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Richardson
  • Directors: Douglas Hickox
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: BFS Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0044LYRGO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
With the exception of the cheesy merry-go-round dog attack at the beginning of this TV movie, this version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is superb. Ian Richardson plays Holmes with a flair that matches the great Jeremy Brett. It's a shame that Richardson's Holmes is only captured in one other occasion on film. ("The Sign of Four")
In contrast, it's also a shame that "Hound" is probably the most screen adapted literary work ever (there are at least 10 films) but there is no perfect definitive version. This is probably as close as we're going to get. This film, made in 1983, far outshines the 2000 BBC version with its horrid CGI dog and a Watson who is likely computer generated as well. Fans of the Jeremy Brett film may be surprised at the stellar cast of this one, featuring Denholm Elliott ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), Eleanor Bron ("The House of Mirth"), Connie Booth ("Monty Python"), and noted actor Brian Blessed (you'll know him when you see him if you don't already). The film also features Ronald Lacey as probably the best Inspector Lestrade ever. (Lacey was also in "Raiders" and the Jeremy Brett version of "The Sign of Four".) Martin Shaw's spin as the Texan Sir Henry Baskerville surprisingly turns out to be more pleasant than not.
At times the film is on the gritty side. The scene with Sir Hugo chasing his servant's daughter for that evening's recreational rape is darker than one would expect, but precisely where it needs to be cinematically. When you consider realism, this "Hound" is unequalled.
Fans of Ian Richardson should also check him out in "Murder Rooms", a BBC series where he plays Dr. Joseph Bell - a real Victorian doctor universally recognized as Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes character.
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Format: DVD
This 1983 version of the Hound, with Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes, has rarely received the accolades it so richly deserves. While not the most faithful adaptation of the Conan Doyle classic, it is nevertheless sumptuously atmospheric. It features a truly menacing hound that more closely approximates the horror elicited by the novel's original than the veritable slew of disappointing hounds from several other film versions, the obvious exception being the equally terrifying Basil Rathbone hound. This TV movie's strengths stem from a variety of sources. First of all, Michael Lewis's engaging, memorable film score is exquisitely dynamic and resonates with excitement. Secondly, the production's choice of authentic Devonshire locales for outdoor filming, and effective use of sound stages to evoke the melancholy and dreary mystique of the moors at nighttime,imbues this stylish version with an appropriately gothic flavor. It stunningly depicts the eerie essence of the Grimpen Mire, replete with its miasma of swirling, amorphous ground mist, and compellingly involves the viewer in the visual ambience of its surroundings. The film's denouement, as Holmes pursues his villainous quarry through the mire's impenetrable sea of fog, is masterfully photographed and provides a highly dramatic and satisfying catharsis to an enjoyable film.
This is not to discount the film's few shortcomings. Certainly Richardson's Holmes, invariably prone to overtly amiable behavior, deviates from the disconcerting arrogance and brooding demeanor so brilliantly and faithfully rendered by Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett. This is not to negate Richardson's charismatic and magnetic presence, however, and he is a pleasure to watch. (Recently, he compellingly played Dr.
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Format: DVD
First, of the 6 'hounds' I have on DVD, this is the only one that seriously attempts to remain true to the novel. Yes, Hickok brings in the character of Lyons (Brian Blessed), the husband, who appears only by reference in the novel. But that character is not only interesting, but consistent with Conan Doyle's intent. Churchill is not the most interesting Watson (there are Burke and Hardwicke, of course) but he had played Watson on BBC in many of the short stories, and he is consistent and believable. In particular, his reaction to being tricked by Holmes is very believable. Richardson, who many might think too acidulous for the role, turns in a stellar performance, unfortunately limited by the nature of the novel (as all Holmes' fans know, this story was not intended originally for Sherlock Holmes; that is why he appears so little). Of the two Holmes films Richardson made, this is the one to have. Martin Shaw as Sir Henry is brilliant, not so much in himself, as by reference to all the nincompoops who have been cast in the role (including the BBC Jeremy Brett film). The minor roles (Denholm Elliott, Connie Booth, Nicholas Clay--known to most Holmes' fanciers as the doctor in 'resident patient', and, above all, Ronald Lacey as Lestrade) are very, very well-taken. So it is all great? Does it really deserve 5 stars?

There are two 'semi-obligatory musical interludes' (as Ebert used to say), not long, and not in slow-mo but still oppressive (the first meeting of Stapleton's wife-sister and Sir Henry, the second with Sir Henry, Beryl, and the 'Gypsy'). Perhaps one or two other times, the music becomes pre-adolescent. Color photography does not do Conan Doyle any favors, but I become use to it as I watch. And, actually, the color is handled very well (this is not a Hammer production).
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