Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of the Baskervilles
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The Hound Of The Baskervilles
The most celebrated tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles canon, The Hound of the Baskervilles is set in the Victorian Age and was originally released by Twentieth Century-Fox in 1939. It is the first of fourteen Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
When Sir Charles Baskerville is killed outside of Baskerville Hall, his good friend Dr. Mortimer (Lionel Atwill) fears that the curse of the Baskervilles has struck once again. Mortimer enlists the help of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), before yet another Baskerville can succumb to the evil legend.
Sir Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene) arrives in London to claim his inheritance. Mortimer takes Sir Henry to 221b Baker Street and expresses his fear for Sir Henrys life. Baskerville soon learns that along with the grand mansion on the moor, comes a devilish curse, a curious butler (John Carradine) and a cast of bizarre neighbors.
Holmes, pressed with "other business," sends Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) to accompany Sir Henry to the dreary moor to protect the young Baskerville from the legend of the wicked hound. Of course, with danger afoot, Sherlock Holmes may not be so far from the scene as is assumed.
-Audio Commentary with David Stuart Davies
-Selected Theatrical Trailers
-Production Notes By Richard Valley
Run Time - 80 minutes
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce star in this 1939 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's frequently filmed novel, and the result is one of the most atmospheric and purely enjoyable versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Except for minor changes, the script is true to Doyle's enthralling mystery about a centuries-long curse against heirs to the Baskerville estate, situated within the haunting and deadly Dartmoor in the southwest of England. With the arrival of a new master, Canadian Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene), Sherlock Holmes (Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Bruce) are called upon to solve the strange case of the "gigantic hound" that may be readying to savage the poor fellow. Wonderful sets, crisp performances, and Rathbone's accessible but no-nonsense take on the Great Detective make this a real delight. Typical of the 20th Century Fox Holmes pictures, there's an in-joke, a final line of censor-defying dialogue alluding to Holmes's little problem with cocaine. --Tom Keogh
- Photo gallery
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Top customer reviews
The first movie was "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and I was hooked from the moment I saw the death of the elder Baskerville and heard the maids scream.
Here we are over 20 years later and this classic (still my favorite Holmes movie) has finally arrived on DVD. What a triumph! The movie has been lovingly restored and has probably never looked better.
In addition we have an audio commentary track that is insightful and entertaining. Covered is not only background to the production but also biographoical information and discussion of other adaptations of the story for the screen. For its entire 80 minute length I was riveted by the comments of someone who has obviously researched the 1939 movie extensively.
Accompanying his commentary is a glossy booklet by Holmes fan Richard Valley (who does the audio commentary for the second Rathbone Holmes movie "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"). He covers some of the same information as is detailed by his colleague on the commentary but overall the handsome booklet is another nice look at the story and this version.
Also listed as special features on the disc is a photo gallery and poster gallery. It is a shame however that one cannot manually scroll through them, instead we have various stills and posters panned over by the camera to the strains of music.
A real find on the DVD is vintage trailers for some of the Rathbone Holmes advantures, curiously though they are from the later Universal movies and missing is "The Hound of the Baskervilles" trailer.
Overall though this is a very well put together DVD and I am elated to finally have my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie on DVD!
Based upon the classic story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and well adapted to the silver screen), Rathbone's commanding presence as Holmes is even more impressive by the fact that he only appears occasionally throughout the film. Instead, Nigel Bruce as Watson does most of the detective legwork on screen covering for Holmes' absence from Baskerville Hall until the great sleuth is finally able to join him to hunt down the dreaded monster dog (and its sinister master) awaiting in the moors for its next victim.
Lovingly restored by UCLA, this is an impressive film, to say the least! Highly recommended.
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