107 user 47 critic

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 31 March 1939 (USA)
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.


Sidney Lanfield


Ernest Pascal (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (novel) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Greene ... Sir Henry Baskerville
Basil Rathbone ... Sherlock Holmes
Wendy Barrie ... Beryl Stapleton
Nigel Bruce ... Dr. Watson
Lionel Atwill ... James Mortimer M.D.
John Carradine ... Barryman
Barlowe Borland ... Frankland
Beryl Mercer ... Mrs. Jennifer Mortimer
Morton Lowry ... John Stapleton
Ralph Forbes ... Sir Hugo Baskerville
E.E. Clive ... Cabby
Eily Malyon ... Mrs. Barryman
Lionel Pape ... Coroner
Nigel De Brulier ... Convict (as Nigel de Brulier)
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Hudson


On his uncle's death Sir Henry Baskerville returns from abroad and opens up the ancestral hall on the desolate moors of Devonshire. Holmes uncovers a plot to have Sir Henry murdered by a terrible trained hound. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


At approximately 51 minutes into the film, Holmes plays the first three notes of what would become "Stairway to Heaven" on the Lire for Watson. See more »


In opening minutes, Watson is talking about the need for newspaper "clippings" he's doing. But in England they are referred to as "cuttings." See more »


[first lines]
Barryman: Hello, there! Hello, there! Is something wrong!
See more »


Referenced in Release the Hound! (2015) See more »

User Reviews

"Murder, my dear Watson. Refined, cold-blooded murder."
2 April 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) must protect the heir to a wealthy estate, Sir Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene, who oddly receives top billing). A family legend states that a demonic hound kills all Baskerville men because of something one of their ancestors did. The first Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film. One of two Sherlock films made by 20th Century Fox in 1939 before the series found its home at Universal, with Holmes updated to the present day.

Basil Rathbone is excellent in what would become his career-defining role. To me, Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes. I know the books have a rabid following and from my experiences with some of these devotees, they don't care much for the Rathbone films. Such is their loss. One of the primary complaints from the book fans is Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Watson. Apparently they feel he's a bumbling cartoon of a character. I can't agree with that. Bruce's Watson is a loyal, brave, warm, decent man. That he is used sometimes to bring levity to the otherwise serious tone of the films is hardly a bad thing, in my opinion. If you want to see a detective series with a truly buffoonish comic relief sidekick, I can recommend plenty.

A wonderful supporting cast backing up Rathbone and Bruce that includes Lionel Atwill, John Carradine, Wendy Barrie, Barlowe Borland, and E.E. Clive. Nice direction, great atmosphere and sets. Love the foggy moor. A good start to a wonderful series.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

31 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hound of the Baskervilles See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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