Sherlock Holmes: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
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When these were first released on DVD it was truly a cause for celebration, as it represented the completed painstaking restoration of all 14 classic films by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
The UCLA Theatre Archives did an award-winning job in restoring and thus preserving these great films from 35mm master copies into the digital format, sometimes literally being forced to piece together the celluloid remnants that they found.
It took the archivists several years to complete the entire project, but was well worth the wait. The result is that the black and white images seem as fresh today as when the films were released to theatres more than 40 years ago. The archivists deserve a hearty thanks from all movie fans concerned with preserving America's classic cinema heritage for future generations to enjoy.
This boxed set includes a facinating feature on what it took to restore the films. Well worth watching, it's wonderful that it's included.
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.Read more ›
The five-disc BD set offers the duo's first two series entries - "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the outstanding "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" - which were produced at Fox as Grade-A productions in 1939, as well as the following 12 pictures Rathbone and Bruce starred in for Universal Pictures beginning in 1942.
Universal's entries differed from the Fox films in a number of ways: the studio produced the films on a lower (though not entirely bargain-basement) budget and, most notably, initially shifted the stories away from Victorian era England to the then-present day of the 1940s. This enabled the producers to offer more "contemporary" WWII-era stories (most evidently seen in "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror," "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon," and "Sherlock Holmes in Washington"), designed to appeal to populist sentiment of the time with anti-Nazi themes permeating the respective mysteries.Read more ›
"The complete Sherlock Holmes collection" is a 6/06 reissue on 5 DVDs of a 14-DVD set (in 5 boxes) previously issued by MPI 10/03-4/04. The reissues by MPI, which involve restorations of the 1942-46 films, have been critically acclaimed. This review thus just compares the 2006 and 2003-04 sets of reissues (this review also supplements the previous two reviews by R. Smith, 7/18, and E. Hornaday, 4/10):
OVERVIEW: 2006 reissue = 14 films on 5 DVDs (see below for track listing) in 1 box 1 1/4" wide VERSUS 2003-04 reissue = 14 films on 14 DVDs in 5 boxes totaling 4 3/8" wide.
DVD CONTENT: Same in both reissues except the 2006 box set has for "Dressed to kill" an added (i.e., unfortunately, not on the earlier issues) commentary by actress Patricia Morison and Holmes scholars David Gregory and Richard Valley.
BOOKLET/INSERT AND TEXT CONTENT: The 2006 box set has 2 pages of text besides the front cover. The 2003-04 reissues have 5 booklets ("production notes") written by Richard Valley, 8 pages each for "Hound" and "Adventures," 16 pages each for volumes 1-3. Although there is some overlap material, these 64 pages have many pictures and have much information on the 14 films, including cast listings.
SUMMARY OF PROS AND CONS OF 2006 BOX SET:
PROS: (1) much less expensive--$129.99 list ($119.99 Amazon in 7/06) versus $249.90 list ($224.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection = a *3* star set of Movies!!!Published 16 days ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
I really enjoy watching Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.Published 1 month ago by India Nzila
Basil Rathbone is the definitive screen Sherlock Holmes. And while Nigel Bruce isn't the Dr. Watson of the stories, he does create a memorable character who plays off Rathbone... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer