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Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of the Baskervilles
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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
- Photo gallery
Top Customer Reviews
Atmospherically, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is arguably the best of the 14 Holmes films, and the only one based specifically on a Conan Doyle story. It, and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," are the only two "period" films in the series and run longer, the remainder taking place in then modern-day England and America of the late 30s and early 40s and run about 90 minutes each. In both "Hound" and "Adventures," Holmes dons his deerstalker cap, popularized by original Strand Magazine illustrator Sidney Paget who made the image synonymous with the great detective. It is interesting to note that in the first of the non-period films in the series, Holmes reaches for his handy deerstalker, but is stopped by Watson. "Holmes," Watson said, "you promised." Leaving the deerstalker on the peg, Holmes grabs a "modern" hat instead.Read more ›
Rathbone and Bruce make this film. Whether you like or dislike their individual interpretations, you've got to admit they work well together. And it's a testament to Nigel Bruce's ability as an actor, bumbler or no, that he can carry the film for those twenty or thirty minutes when Sherlock Holmes is completely absent. Richard Greene gets top billing, sure, but this is the first time a Holmes and Watson team completely outshine everything else in the production.
Some reviews take great pains to point out what Fox changed about this story. But in reality, this is probably the most straightforward "Hound" ever made. Most of the changes are made for simple brevity, stripping away the subplots and leaving the core.Read more ›
Odd to think, then, that the first Holmes film with Rathbone and his faithful Dr. Watson, Nigel Bruce, gave neither man starring credit. That honor on "The Hound of the Baskervilles" went to the romantic leading man, Richard Greene.
The lapse in logic was quickly corrected, with Rathbone and Bruce going on to top-bill 13 famed Holmes movies from 1939-46.
The UCLA Film and TV Archive has rescued the films from public domain hell, in a restoration that aims to return them to 35mm theatrical condition using original elements and acetate copies. The results as seen on MPI's DVDs are indeed impressive, with shadows and light elegant and edgy. Wear is within reason, and the audio suffices.
Film historians' commentaries have been added to some of the feature films, explaining, for instance, just how the 19th century detectives ended up battling Nazis in WWII.
The MPI collection -- whose titles are available separately and in sets -- started rolling out in the fall. The series concludes at the beginning, with "Baskervilles" and "Adventures," both made by Fox before Universal took over and "modernized" the Doyle stories. The Uni films have their moments -- "Woman in Green," for example, is grand and grisly entertainment -- but there's no topping these initial releases, set in Victorian times.
"Baskervilles" remains one of the most famous and fondly remembered Holmes films, but it is largely Dr. Watson's tale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked reading Sherlock Holms in school. This movie had made me want to get more Holms' moves with Basil Rathbone.Published 2 months ago by Virginia Ed
Not the best episode of the series, but interesting. This is the first of the Sherlock Holmes, with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. This rounded out my collection. Read morePublished 2 months ago by GLM
I purchased this as a gift for a my husband who is a die hard Sherlock Holmes fan. This is a favorite story with two classic actors, and we never get tired watching it.Published 6 months ago by R. A. Johnson