The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Director: Sidney Lanfield Cast: Richard Greene, Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce


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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) is surely the only movie directed by Sidney Lanfield that is ever likely to get the kind of deluxe treatment that it has been accorded on this DVD from MPI. Far and away the director's best movie, it still stands up well 60-plus years later, despite some flaws in its structure and some mild flatness to the direction. The new transfer (full-frame, of course, i.e. 1.33:1) brings out the virtues of the handsome 20th Century Fox production and the darkly atmospheric cinematography by J. Peverell Marley (as captured here, it's worth the price of the disc). The movie is enhanced by the presence of a commentary track by David Stuart Davies, a noted Holmes scholar and enthusiast, who walks us through the movie in his droll, British way, very different from the boundless enthusiasm displayed by Richard Valley in his commentary on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (a DVD release which coincided with this film's issue). Davies is a little less attuned to the film's production than Valley, and closer to the literary side, which is fascinating in itself. He doesn't really slight the movie, as a subject, so much as start from the literary side; he does delve deeply into the layers and currents rippling through the movie. In addition to the commentary track, the movie is supported by a montage of still art and promotional and advertising materials set to music, and there are three reissue trailers, for Dressed to Kill, The House of Fear, and The Pearl of Death. None looks or sounds in terribly good shape, but all are fun to watch. The 13 chapters easily support and enhance the 80-minute movie. The disc opens up automatically to the multi-layered menu, which is a little bit harder to move around in, between the movie and the bonus features, than it needed to be.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/27/2004
UPC: 0030306755199
Original Release: 1939
Rating: NR
Source: Mpi Home Video
Region Code: 0
Time: 1:20:00
Sales rank: 8,106

Special Features

Audio commentary with David Stuart Davies; Selected theatrical trailers; Production notes by Richard Valley; Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Greene Sir Henry Baskerville
Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes
Nigel Bruce Dr. Watson
Lionel Atwill James Mortimer, M.D.
John Carradine Barryman
Wendy Barrie Beryl Stapleton
Barlowe Borland Frankland
Beryl Mercer Mrs. Jenifer Mortimer
Morton Lowry John Stapleton
Ralph Forbes Sir Hugo Baskerville
E.E. Clive Cabby
Eily Malyon Mrs. Barryman
Nigel de Brulier Convict
Mary Gordon Mrs. Hudson
Peter Willes Roderick
Ivan Simpson Shepherd
Ian MacLaren Sir Charles
John Burton Bruce
Denis Green Jon
Evan Thomas Edwin
Lionel Pape Coroner
Harry Cording Actor

Technical Credits
Sidney Lanfield Director
Richard Day Art Director
W.D. Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Gene Markey Associate Producer
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
Cyril Mockridge Musical Direction/Supervision
Ernest Pascal Screenwriter
Hans Peters Art Director
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening [1:19]
2. Murder at the Baskervilles [2:37]
3. The Legend of the Hound [9:06]
4. Heir of the Dog [9:36]
5. What the Butler Saw [9:22]
6. The Great Grimpen Mire [4:26]
7. Despoiler of Graves [7:12]
8. The Mysterious Stranger [9:34]
9. Death on the Moor [3:59]
10. Family Ties [5:02]
11. His Last Bow-Wow [9:06]
12. Trapped! [7:44]
13. End Credits [:34]

Customer Reviews

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The Hound of the Baskervilles 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
drsdata More than 1 year ago
In my opinion these films by Rathbone and Bruce are the definitive Holmes and Watson. The atmosphere of these films lend to their suspense, terror and the criminal element. Holmes is a master of disguise criminal deduction along with his trusty Watson nabbing the criminal and them getting their due.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This first of the Basil Rathbone films as Sherlock Holmes is excellant. The movie does a little varation from the book when it comes to the ending. But I think the ending is done quite well, it is a kinder happer ending. The film quality and sound are very good
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is probably the best in the series..and one of two portrayed in victorian times. The acting,from Morton Lowry, Wendy Barrie on up, is top notch. Rathbone as Holmes is more than elementary in his performance..Bruce as the affable Watson is much better with less bumbling buffoonery and a stricter sense of character. Later pair up versions of Cushing/Lee..Plummer/Mason..look good and maybe truer in style,but this Fox duo is the best. The atmosphere, lost in the Brett version, is so thick you can barely bite through with cannine teeth...really gives this film it's feel..probably due to being shot in B/W.. and looks similar to a Universal melodrama. I particularly like the less-is-best idea of a background score...a quiet stillness on a fog shrouded moor with the howl of the hound in the distance. Film directors could learn much from Lanfield's vision, that gives you a sense of murky eerieness, at the same time a warm(at times uncomfortable) glow..even after repeated viewings...and whatever happened to Richard Greene? who gives one of the best performances of Sir Henry I have ever seen. This is gothic fun all the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Basil Rathbone as Holmes is stictly boo-yeah! Pick up all the UCLA, 35mm remastered dvds released by MPI, they're the best!
mscrep More than 1 year ago
One of only two Rathbone Holmes movies set in their proper (Victorian) era. When I was young, you generally couldn't see this film on TV due to the last line of the script (see the title of this review). This version of the classic tale is quite good, although it doesn't stick to the original as tightly as it might have. However, the visuals are quite good. The sets of the moor alone being worth the price of admission.