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7/10
Holmes and Watson are called to save Sir Baskerville from a curse that has plagued his family for centuries
ma-cortes8 June 2011
Correct rendition of the most famous mystery novel written by Arthur Conan Doyle with an awesome Peter Cushing as Sherlock and fairly faithful to the source material. Holmes (Peter Cushing )and Watson(Andre Morell) are contracted by Doctor Mortimer (Francis De Wolff) for the investigation of killing Sr. Baskerville who is now inherited by his niece Sir Henry . Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes to help protect Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee), who has returned to England to take his place at the family seat following the death of his uncle, Sir Charles Baskerville. Sir Charles died of cardiac exhaustion and Dr. Mortimer believes he was frightened to death. There appears to be a curse on the family dating back nearly 200 years to when Sir Hugo Baskerville was supposedly killed on the moor by a huge hound. Holmes dismisses the supernatural elements of the case but there are a sufficient number of odd events to pique his interest. Holmes soon realizes that someone is making sure the legend becomes real . Watson goes to the mansion ,there are the servants(John Le Mesurier) and he meets Stapleton and his daughter (Marla Landi). Meanwhile an inmate has escaped and on the moor sound the barking of a savage beast.

This is an excellent and thrilling film with horror elements in Hammer style based on the splendid novel by Arthur Conan Doyle .It's a genuine ripping yarn with much suspense and moody intrigue . The film gets mystery, tension, thrills , detective action and packs an exciting deal of outstanding surprises with great lots of fun despite to be a known story . Magnificent Peter Cushing's interpretation although the best Sherlock is forever Basil Rathbone. Cushing plays as Holmes as an intelligent, obstinate, broody, pipesmoking sleuth , his acting is similar to Jeremy Brett for TV or Nicol Williamson(Seven-per-cent-solution) or Christopher Plummer(Murder by decree). Here Dr. Watson isn't a botcher, bungler or clumsy partner incarnated by Nigel Bruce but a cunning and astute pal well represented by Andre' Morell .The movie has a creepy atmosphere specially when is developed on the moor where lives the fearful giant beast ; besides the 223 Baker Street's house is well designed. Spooky and murky cinematography by Jack Asher . Eerie and creepy musical score by James Bernard . This atmospheric motion picture is accurately directed by the ¨Hammer House of Horror¨ master , the great Terence Fisher . Other version about this story are the following : the best version that still can be called a classic filmed in 1939 by Sidney Landfield with Basil Rathbone , Nigel Bruce y Richard Greene ; English adaptation (1983) by Douglas Hickox with Ian Richardson as Holmes and Donald Churchill as Watson and TV rendition with Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke . directed by Peter Hammond .
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Hammer, Holmes, and the Hound
BaronBl00d16 October 2001
Director Terence Fisher, actors Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Andre Morrell, and the Hammer production crew bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous story of the legendary hound of the Baskervilles into colour for the first time. In point of fact, this is the first Sherlock Holmes story filmed in glorious colour, and it does the story proud with its phospherescent glow on the dog, its swirling mists, and the natural tweed colours of Holmes and Watson. Though some argue that Cushing was miscast as Holmes, I argue most vehemently THAT he is perfectly cast as the great detective. His features cry out Doyle's character, and his obvious inner quest for perfection resonates strongly through the character as well. Cushing lends his class to the role and, in my opinion, gives us a fine Holmes, perhaps one of the screen's best. I always enjoy watching a Cushing performance as he was an actor that loved to play with props, and as Christopher Lee states in his autobiography, a man who could play with the prop and act to perfection, often making it look so very elementary. Watch his Holmes. Very few scenes go by where he isn't playing with something. Lee is good in his role, though the part is rather lacklustre. Andre Morrell is a fine Watson. He does not do the Nigel Bruce buffoon act, but rather he plays a man capable of having graduated from medical school. The rest of the cast is good with Francis DeWolff standing out as a doctor in love with himself and the sound of his voice and the ever affable Miles Malleson adding comic relief as a befuddled bishop. The story stays pretty close to the word according to Doyle. Fisher gives what you would expect: tight direction, lush cinematography, and loads of beautiful shots of the fog-ridden moors. The film has a clever prologue about the curse of the Baskervilles as an introduction, and it is wonderfully executed.
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10/10
The Definitive Holmes and Watson.
rgaretho24 March 2005
Although this version of the story differs from the original novel, there is much to recommend it for. The film is well paced and atmospheric but it's greatest strength is the excellent cast, particularly the three leads. It's nice to see Christopher Lee playing the romantic role as a change to his usual monsters and Peter Cushing is brilliant as Holmes, his performance being the definitive as he makes the character believable and interesting. This film also features the best ever casting of Dr Watson. Andre Morell moves away from the bumbling fool of other Holmes films and makes Watson intelligent, capable and even dashing. Morell's charismatic performance is all the more welcome as 'Hounds' is the story which puts Watson centre stage for most of the plot. It's a shame he never played the part again as he and Cushing make the perfect Holmes and Watson. If only Hammer had made a series of Holmes films.
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7/10
Sherlock Holmes by Hammer
claudio_carvalho16 August 2005
When the noble Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee) inherits a property near a swamp, his friend Doctor Richard Mortimer (Francis De Wolff) hires Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Doctor John H. Watson (André Morell) to investigate the curse that apparently killed all the members of his family.

I have not watched the other versions of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" to make any comparison, but this one produced by Hammer is a very good low budget movie. The cinematography creates a great atmosphere; the lines are very detailed and intelligent; and Peter Cushing, André Morell and Christopher Lee give magnificent and very convincing performances in their roles. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Cão dos Baskerville" ("The Hound of the Baskervilles")
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`Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a giant hound.'
ian-43319 February 2004
The 1939 Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce production may be the definitive version, but Hammer's sole 1959 attempt at Sherlock Holmes remains the most atmospheric colour remake.

Peter Cushing and Andre Morrell make a more than passable Holmes and Watson double-act, and the rest of the cast are just right although Christopher Lee always seemed too stiff as a goodie.

Jack Asher's evocative photography is the real delight. No other version has captured so beautifully the muted greens, browns and golds of Dartmoor in England's myth-laden west country. What a shame that modern film stocks seem to have lost the softer warmth of Fifties Technicolor.

Hammer, as you might expect, played up the horror elements of the 'hound of hell' legend a bit too crudely. But David Oxley, as the Baskerville scion who brings about the curse, deserves his place in Hammer's gallery of depraved aristocrats. Accompanied by a crash of thunder in the prologue, director Terence Fisher captures him in long shot at the top of the stairs, possessed with fury as he tells his drunken fellow revellers that the servant girl they had intended to rape has fled. A hushed reaction shot of the others, before Fisher cuts back to a medium shot of Oxted. `I have her!' His face lights up with demonical inspiration. `We'll set the pack on her.!'

Maybe it does rather fall between two genres, but this hugely enjoyable Hammer yarn has left a footprint in each.
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10/10
Top notch Hammer Holmes
oldskoolsi14 August 2004
This is one of the best hammer films around and in my opinion the best Sherlock Holmes film ever. Cushing plays a more uptight Holmes than Rathbone, less tolerant of others and his constant movement suits the overall pace of the film. Morell's Watson is portrayed as less bumbling and more intelligent than Bruce's and since the middle part of the film revolves around him he is allowed to really shine. Lee, obviously relishing playing a romantic lead and not a monster, puts his all into the role. The support is good, especially the comedy bishop portrayed by Miles Malleson. Thankfully, the hound is rarely seen, but its howling add greatly to the tension. Typically Hammer change the original story, and anyone familiar with it will be surprised to see Dr Mortimer being portrayed as the prime suspect.

The style and direction of the film is very similar to other Hammer films made at around the same time, the film moves along at such a pace that you don't have time to think about logic and dialog. The start of the film would make a good film on its own. All in all a great film and its a shame there were no other Hammer Holmes films.
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10/10
"One of Hammer's finest hours and a strong contender as the best Holmes film."
jamesraeburn20034 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Devonshire GP Dr Mortimer (FRANCIS DE WOLFE) consults Sherlock Holmes (PETER CUSHING) after his long term friend and patient Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead near his home on Dartmoor. Sir Charles suffered from a chronic heart condition for many years and when the body was discovered, there was a terrible look of fear on his face, which suggested that he was frightened to death. The circumstances lead Mortimer to believe that it was a ghostly hound, which according to legend is cursed to bring misery and misfortune upon the Baskerville family that brought about Sir Charles's death. The curse was started after Sir Hugo Baskerville (DAVID OXLEY), an evil ancestor of the family, murdered a farm girl on the moor and was then brutally attacked and killed by a huge hound. On the death of Sir Charles, the family fortune and Baskerville Hall go to the only living relative, the deceased's nephew Henry Baskerville (CHRISTOPHER LEE) who is arriving from South Africa the following day to claim his inheritance. Dr Mortimer is gravely concerned that the heir to the fortune may meet the same fate. This leaves Holmes and Dr Watson (ANDRE MORELL) with a taxing question. Is there really a curse upon the Baskervilles or has someone come up with a scheme in order to get the Baskerville fortune for themselves?

Hammer films made the first Frankenstein and Dracula films in colour and this admirable version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective story was the first Sherlock Holmes movie filmed in colour. The film was intended to be the first in a series of Hammer-Sherlock Holmes pictures, but the lukewarm reception it got from cinema audiences at the time sadly meant that these plans were shelved. However, in the sixties, Cushing reprised his role in a popular BBC television series in which he remade THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES although that version is nowhere near as good as this one and he also turned up as the Baker Street sleuth again in THE MASKS OF DEATH (1986), a TV movie made by Tyburn. Meanwhile, Christopher Lee would later don the famous deerstalker in the 1962 production SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE DEADLY NECKLACE. But despite a good cast and director Terence Fisher at the helm, the picture proved to be a completely wasted opportunity due to poor production values and the fact that Lee's voice was dubbed by another actor didn't help matters either.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES is now rightly regarded as one of Hammer's greatest movies. Peter Cushing is exemplary as Holmes, portraying the character as incredibly intelligent, resourceful and at the same time very arrogant when he needs to be. Although when he is arrogant he usually has good reason to be. His performance not only makes him the definitive screen Holmes, but it is another addition to his impressive portfolio of fine performances up there with Dr Van Helsing in Dracula (1958) and his many incarnations as Baron Frankenstein. Andre Morell is also on top form as Dr Watson who wisely chooses not to play the part as a bumbling muddle head, which so many actors have made the mistake of doing in the past. Christopher Lee is also excellent as Sir Henry Baskerville and he makes the best of what appears to be an undemanding role. Terence Fisher's direction is outstanding as he invests the proceedings with a genuine sense of evil and menace that has never been equaled in any other Sherlock Holmes film before or since. Fisher is most ably assisted by cameraman Jack Asher and composer James Bernard who turns in a wonderfully haunting and occasionally romantic score. Today, this picture is considered by some to be the best ever Sherlock Holmes film and it is certainly a strong contender for that title.
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8/10
Peter Cushing IS Sherlock Holmes!
Witchfinder-General-6662 November 2009
Shortly after their brilliant adaptations of the classic tales of Frankenstein and Dracula, the glorious British Hammer Studios decided to have their take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal detective Sherlock Holmes with "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1959). This turned out to be a splendid idea, as the Hammer formula works magnificently with Doyle's work. Hammer once again teams up Horror's greatest duo, Peter Cushing (as Sherlock Holmes) and Christopher Lee (as Sir Henry Baskerville) in what is another one of many memorable collaborations of the two British Horror deities. In addition, the film features André Morell (who would also star in several other Hammer productions including "The Plague of the Zombies" of 1966) as Doctor Watson. Hammer's trademark eerie Gothic atmosphere with foggy grounds, dark forests etc. fits the "Baskervilles" story like a glove. It has been a while since I've last seen the classic adaptations with Basil Rathbone, and I do not wish to discuss which version of this particular tale is 'better', but I can say that this Hammer version is a truly great gem for every admirer of classic Mystery and Gothic cinema.

The film begins truly creepy, with a prologue set in the early 18th century, when Sir Hugo Baskreville, a cruel nobleman who likes to play sadistic games with peasants, gets what he had coming when he makes the encounter of a mysterious beast. From then on, the wild, dog-like creature is known and feared as the 'Hound of The Baskervilles'; according to a curse, this hound is supposed to return and kill any Bakerville who dares to enter the moorlands where Sir Hugo found his end... In the 1880s, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is told about the sudden and mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, a descendant of Sir Hugo. Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to the Baskerville estate, in order to investigate and to meet the new owner, Sir Henry Baskerville, who does not believe in what he considers to be 'old wive's tales'... at first...

The film does change the plot of Doyle's classic novel in some details, mainly by adding Horror elements that underline the Hammer-typical creepiness and Gothic atmosphere. Cushing simply is the perfect choice to play Sherlock Holmes. This brilliant actor was fantastic in any role he played, of course, but that of the most famous detective in fiction is one of those that he is particularly predestined for. André Morell is great as Dr. Watson and Christopher Lee is, as always, magnificent in his role. Cushing and Lee truly were the ultimate duo in Horror cinema, and this is yet another fantastic collaboration of these two great men. It is easy to see why Christopher Lee and the late Peter Cushing were best friends in real-life, when watching their ingenious work in any of the films and they did together. Directed by Hammer's Nr. 1 director, Terence Fisher, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is another great example for Hammer's glorious style of eerie yet beautiful settings, haunting atmosphere and suspenseful storytelling. The settings and photography are wonderful as in most classic Hammer tales, and the entire film is greatly crafted. Many years ago, this was one of the first Hammer films that I saw as a kid, and, after many re-viewings, I still immensely enjoy watching it as an adult. This great little gem only ranks slightly below the brilliant "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" adaptations, and definitely is a must-see for all Hammer fans. Highly recommended!
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7/10
Cushing was born to play Holmes
Vampenguin12 May 2006
Ah, you can't go wrong with Hammer. On the back of the DVD, Newsweek proudly proclaims "The Best of the Sherlocks!", and I have to agree. This is the role that Peter Cushing was born to play, it's a shame he didn't play it as often as he did Van Helsing. His mannerisms, his delivery, even his looks, everything about him is perfect Holmes. The rest of the cast are pretty good too, don't get me wrong, but Cushing puts them to shame. Though he is rather ominous in some scenes, it's nice to see Christopher Lee opposite Cushing as a good guy for a change. I really liked the classic plot, full of surprises, great characters, humor and lots of chances for Cushing to shine. The atmosphere is great, foggy and dark like many Hammer films. Perfect for horror. All in all this is a really fun film, though it does have a few pretty cheesy moments. Good film overall though.

7.5/10
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4/10
Worth watching
JamesTCT22 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As a fan of Holmes, I quite enjoyed this film and I'm sure Hammer fans will enjoy it too... but this really messes around with the story a lot , often for no good reason. can anyone explain to me the significance of the knife holmes found on the stone and said that it had been used "in some disgusting ritual..". It was never explained why that was done? To get rid of the evidence that the hound had killed the convict? And the hound looked AWFUL! really unscary ! The only film version that ever had a truly frightening hound was the 1939 Rathbone film - that prolonged and realistic attack was amazing. This is just -- mehhh.

It does have some good points - a brilliantly overdone Hammer musical score and an exciting prologue. And I loved the painful tension during the tarantula sequence... brilliant!
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9/10
"Do as the legend tells and avoid the moor when the forces of darkness are exalted."
bensonmum223 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
From what I understand, The Hound of the Baskervilles was to be the first in a series of Sherlock Holmes films from Hammer Film Productions. For whatever reason, the film didn't do what Hammer was expecting and they decided to scrap any further Holmes movies. Too bad, because I really enjoy this version of the famous story and would have enjoyed seeing Hammer take their turn with some of the others. And I would have enjoyed the opportunity to see Peter Cushing again play the famous detective while still in his prime. I can only imagine what might have been.

As for the movie itself, Hammer's The Hound of the Baskervilles plays as loose and free with the original story elements as any other I've seen. It doesn't necessarily hurt my enjoyment, but those seeking something that follows the book to the letter would be better off looking elsewhere. Because this is Hammer, the horror aspects of the story are quite naturally highlighted – and to good effect. Cushing makes a wonderful Holmes. Not only does Cushing act the part, in my mind anyway, he looks the part as well. I often go back and forth about which Holmes' portrayal I enjoy more – Cushing or Rathbone. Andre Morrell makes for as good a Dr. Watson as you're likely to find. The rest of the cast, including Christopher Lee and Francis De Wolff, is as solid as any that Hammer ever assembled. I get a real kick out of Miles Malleson's delightfully forgetful Bishop. Finally, and unlike a lot of the more stage-bound Hammer productions, The Hound of the Baskervilles benefits from some excellent location shots. All together, this is one very enjoyable film. If it weren't for Rathbone's The Hound of the Baskervilles, this would be my favorite version of the story – even with (or should that be because of) the numerous deviations from the source material. The Hound of the Baskervilles is also in my top 5 favorite Hammer films as well. A 9/10 seems about right to me.
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7/10
Different spin, equally effective.
Spikeopath11 October 2009
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are requested to keep an eye on Sir Henry Baskerville, who has inherited an estate out on Dartmoor. With this estate comes danger as his family is known to be threatened by a wild dog that stalks the Moor.

Holmes in colour for the first time as Hammer give it the full blown costume drama pizazz. Great production as Peter Cushing (Holmes), Andre Morell (Watson) and Christopher Lee (Baskerville) act it out with considerable aplomb. Cushing and Morell are particularly effective, Cushing's Holmes is sprightly and never staid, while Morell's Watson is resourceful and a bona fide detective sidekick to the intrepid Holmes. The supporting cast is also filled out with quality British talent, John le Mesurier, Miles Malleson and Francis de Wolfe are involving and integral to the story. Whilst it wouldn't be a Hammer film without the obligatory heaving bosom, which here comes in the form of Marla Landi.

The deviation from the source novel may offend some purists, but it works and is actually a pleasant surprise. Hammer were clearly intent on breathing a new life into Sherlock Holmes, and they did so, thus paving the way for the element of surprise. Still holding up well after all these years this is still an essential viewing in the pantheon of Sherlock Holmes adaptations. 7/10
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The best Holmes film that I've seen
GusF26 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
An absolutely brilliant film which is deservedly regarded as one of the jewels in Hammer's crown. Peter Cushing and André Morell are perfectly cast as Holmes and Watson while Christopher Lee is as wonderful as ever as Sir Henry Baskerville. The film has an extremely strong supporting cast including Francis de Wolff, John Le Mesurier, Marla Landi, Ewen Solon and Miles Malleson. From what I can gather (having never read the novel), it takes some liberties but the storyline is essentially the same.

This was originally to have been the first in a series of Hammer Sherlock Holmes films but apparently the idea was dropped because the audience didn't want a Hammer series without monsters. That's a terrible shame as I'd have loved more films of this calibre starring Cushing and Morell. However, I'm glad that they chose the best known and one of the most popular stories to adapt for their only Holmesian outing. While this was the only time that he ever played Holmes on film, Cushing reprised his role on television in 1968 and 1984. I also liked the fact that Christopher Lee played a good guy and that he and Cushing were on the same side for once. This is the first film that I've seen them both in which neither of them tried to kill the other even once!
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10/10
Hammer's attempt at Holmes
JoeB13124 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I can't understand why Hammer didn't attempt to make more Sherlock Holmes movies. Peter Cushing was a natural at the role (even though he isn't in half the movie.) He's much closer to the way Doyle wrote the character. Unfortunately, people couldn't get used to a Holmes not played by Basil Rathbone any more than they could accept a Frankenstein not played by Boris Karloff.

Hammer could teach today's directors a thing or two about how to make a movie for not much money. I doubt this film was all that expensive to make, but the monster (a dog with a mask) was far more effective than some fake CGI monster who would probably play the beast in a modern version.

Yes, it is interesting to watch a film with Cushing and Lee where neither of them is playing a monster or a mad scientist ... which is how most team ups with them went.

No spoilers, if you are a HOlmes fan, you know how this goes... The movie is largely faithful to the book, even to the point of having Holmes absent for about half of it.
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8/10
Cushing and Lee...their the reason I watched this one.
Aaron13758 March 2004
I would normally not even attempt to watch a Sherlock movie, but seeing as how Peter Cushing was Sherlock and Lee was in it too I decided to give this one a try. Suffice to say I was not disappointed as both were very good in their respective roles as was the fellow who played Watson. This one has Sherlock investigating a curse that kills the head of a family named the Baskervilles. The next target is Lee's character after he inherits his uncle's house after his untimely death. The movie moves at a very brisk pace and is a bit predictable, but still executed very well (though they never explained the doctors part in the movie). There is also a scene at the end I found rather amusing as Sherlock and a couple of others are standing on a hill and this person is sinking in quicksand. They don't really make much of a movie to save the person even though they clearly could. All in all though this one is a well acted move that was interesting to watch.
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8/10
What a shame they didn't make any more.
BA_Harrison29 November 2015
There have been many adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of The Baskervilles over the years, but this 1959 version from Hammer studios has got to rank as one of the best, largely thanks to the impeccable casting of Peter Cushing, who is on top form as legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, and André Morell, whose Watson is far from the bumbling oaf of the earlier Universal Studios series. It doesn't hurt either to have fellow Hammer stalwart Christopher Lee on standby as Sir Henry Baskerville, and with wonderfully atmospheric direction from Terence Fisher, and sumptuous production design throughout, there is much here to enjoy.

Fisher opens his movie with the origin of the Baskerville curse, as told to Holmes and Watson by Doctor Richard Mortimer (Francis De Wolff), who has come to Baker Street for help after his friend, Sir Charles Baskerville, is discovered dead on the moors, apparently the victim of a terrifying beast. Holmes learns how wicked Hugo Baskerville supposedly doomed further generations of his family by hunting down and murdering an innocent young woman, thus invoking a terrible hound from Hell that lurks under the moors.

Of course, Holmes knows that there must be a logical answer to the mysterious deaths that have plagued the Baskervilles, and with help from Watson, he eventually discovers the truth, but only after plenty of danger involving a deadly tarantula, the perilous Grimpen mire, a dilapidated tin mine, and the hell hound itself.

While the plot does deviate somewhat from Conan Doyle's novel, most notably with the introduction of Spanish babe Cecile (Marla Landi) as love interest for Sir Henry, any liberties taken with the source material do little to spoil what is an extremely entertaining movie.

8/10, although Miles Malleson's very amusing turn as dippy entomologist Bishop Frankland almost nudged my rating to a 9.
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9/10
Delightful adaptation from a master of horror
Prof-Hieronymos-Grost19 January 2009
Often praised as the best Hound adaptation, Terence Fisher's vision of Doyle's most famous work is truly a beautiful work of art. Being the first colour version, it had a lot to live up to, but Fisher a master of colour succeeds brilliantly in bringing it to the screen. The plot however alters a lot of Doyle's work, Fisher employing wholesale changes of plot and character and as a result the film feels more like a Hammer film than it does a Holmes film, but minor quibbles aside, its still a fun film. Cushing is a very priggy Holmes, his later entries as the super sleuth, would be much less so, but he's still great to watch. Andre Morell is also excellent as Watson, striking a good balance between a knowledgeable man of medicine and a bumbling sidekick. Christopher Lee though, isn't left with much to work with as Henry Baskerville. Like most adaptations of the book, the film can live or die by the size of its Hound, Hammer found the biggest Great Dane they could, but it still fails a little to convince as a Hound of Hell. That said this is a spectacular production, if slightly flawed one.
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8/10
A Vigorous Retelling Of The Classic Thriller, "HAMMER"-Style...
cchase5 December 2008
The initial version of HOUND, released in 1939, was the first to introduce Sir Basil Rathbone as the immortal detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, eventually resulting in the actor being the most identified in the role. Twenty years on, his contemporary, Peter Cushing took a stab at it as well, and the results are equally as gratifying.

It's interesting to note as well that Andre Morell's interpretation of Dr. John Watson, Holmes' steadfast companion and confidante, paints a more capable and robust picture of the cultured sidekick than the cloud of befuddlement that always seemed to surround Nigel Bruce in his performance.

Like Old Faithful, Hammer vet Terence Fisher directs HOUND as more of a stunning crime thriller with horror elements than an out-and-out costume romp, much like the others that the studio became famous (or infamous) for. Allegedly the start of a planned series, the idea was scrapped when Holmes didn't catch on with latter audiences, who were more drawn to Hammer's "Monster" movies with werewolves and vampires.

The best treat of all in this case, though, besides seeing British character vets in action like Morrell, John Le Mesurier (Barrymore, the manservant), Francis De Wolff (Doctor Mortimer) and a hysterical turn by Miles Malleson as Bishop Frankland, (worthy of Barry Fitzgerald), is seeing Cushing and Christopher Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville sharing scenes together, no matter how briefly, in a non-"Dracula"-inspired context.

If you love old-school mysteries, and Hammer films especially, be sure to add this one to your "Must-Rent" list.
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10/10
The Hound of the Baskervilles
jboothmillard14 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have seen the Basil Rathbone version, and personally this remake from British Hammer (Horror) Studios deserves its 10 points (and five stars from critics) because it is much more exciting (especially in colour), from director Terence Fisher (Dracula: Prince of Darkness). Basically, the Baskerville Manor has had many members of the family being victim to a legendary creature, known as the Hound of Baskerville, and the opening scene with Sir Hugo Baskerville (David Oxley) is an example of this monster. Famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Star Wars' Peter Cushing) and his assistant Dr. John Watson (André Morell) are brought in to investigate, and keep an eye on who seems to be the last family member, Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee). As characters ignore the rule of stay away from the moors after dark, more clues emerge in the investigation, and Holmes thinks he is getting closer to finding who, or what is responsible for these attacks and deaths. In the end, there really was a hound (dog-type creature, I expected a werewolf), and Cecile Stapleton (Marla Landi), "feary" daughter of Stapleton (Ewen Solon) is part of this terror that hunts the family on the moors, she is also victim to die when the hound is killed and the case is solved. Also starring Francis De Wolff as Dr. Richard Mortimer, Miles Malleson as Bishop Frankland and Dad's Army's John Le Mesurier as Barrymore. Cushing and Morell make a great double act as Holmes and Watson, Lee is good as Sir Henry, and the film has great moments of case solving and questioning with the many clues that pop up. The line I was hoping to hear, "Elementary, my dear, Watson" was in it, and it is number 65 on 100 Years, 100 Quotes. Outstanding!
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Thumbs up for Cushing's performance
mgbroderick19 April 2003
After reading Doyle's book to my kids -- the quintessential Sherlock Holmes novel -- I promised to get the movie so we could all watch it. I was a fan as a kid of Basil Rathbone's Holmes' series for Universal, and I tried to find that version on video. The VHS is out of print and surprisingly, it is not on DVD. So I bought the DVD of the Hammer version with Peter Cushing, Andre Morrel and Christopher Lee without having seen it before. I enjoyed the film, so did my kids and we would recommend this version. Cushing surprised me as Holmes -- he enjoys himself from start to finish. He is clever in a self-satisfied and almost playful way, not as intense as Rathbone. He's simply terrific to watch. Too bad Hammer didn't continue with Holmes because this could have become his signature role. Morrel also is a better Watson than Nigel Bruce for all the reasons stated by others. Christopher Lee seems a bit out of place here, but nonetheless he's so young in this film -- he looks like Nicholas Cage! -- that it is nice to see him a different role. The movie itself is uneven and the departures from the Doyle story struck me as odd. But if you one of those who believes Rathbone is the preeminent Holmes, I would encourage you to see this film. You may change your mind.
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8/10
Cushing and Lee at their finest
lazlo-83 October 1999
This excellent 1959 Hammer picture starring Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes and Christopher Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville was in my opinion one of the best Hammer films they did. I found the film to be very nicely done with a generally spooky setting in the moors. I also found it to keep my attention a lot better than that of other Hammer films such as The Mummy. The acting from Lee and Cushing is of course superb as is the performance of Andre Morell as Dr. Watson. Overall, I would say that this is the best Sherlock Holmes film made to date.
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A colourful, enjoyable version
bob the moo31 January 2004
Sherlock Holmes has the legend of the hound of the Baskervilles related to him but greets the story of the series of murders, starting with Sir Hugo Baskerville and continuing along the line, with derision. However when he is asked to offer protection to new heir to the manor, Sir Henry Baskerville, he agrees and he and Watson travel to the moors to protect him and uncover the mystery of the legendary hound.

To me, the only Holmes is Rathbone and the only Watson is Bruce. So I had an immediate problem with this film for that reason, although happily not one it took me long to overcome. The film plays the tradition horror angle against the more logical deduction of Holmes, starting with the legend and jumping to the setting of Baker Street. The later gory, unpleasant excesses of the Hammer films are happily lacking here and the film puts more emphasis on mood and mystery. The mood is pretty good and the plot is well delivered, although I will always prefer the early Holmes films more than this.

The use of logic and the mysterious air to the film work well and the end result is an enjoyable film. The cast is good, although the fact that Cushing and Morell both look a little like Rathbone and Bruce, which was a little bit off-putting at the start. However Cushing delivers a solid Holmes, he is sharp mentally and the only downside of his performance is that he doesn't prevent Holmes from stepping over the line between intellectual and overly superior. Morell plays Bruce very low-key. In a way this is for the best but I do actually enjoy the more comedic sidekick played by Bruce, and I missed that. Christopher Lee is a good presence and, watching it now, he adds more mystery to the film with his inclusion. The support cast are good including turns from Malleson and the ever-reliable Le Mesurier.

Overall, while I prefer the Rathbone/Bruce era, I did enjoy this film and felt it did a good job of telling a colourful and mysterious version of the story that mixes the logical aspects with the meatier horror of the hound.
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7/10
There's more Evil here then I've ever encountered before!
sol12185 January 2006
(SOME SPOILERS) Back in the 17th century England there was this decadent and evil man who loved to humiliate torture and even murder his servants and those of the lower classes, who couldn't fight back, named Sir. Hugo Baskerville.

One evening at an all night orgy at Baskerville Hall Hugo went up to the room where his young maid was staying and in a fit of anger found her gone. Getting his fox hunting hounds together Hugo rode out into the moors to track down the maid and teach her some manners in her unpardonable act of disobeying her grand and noble master Sir. Hugo Baskerville.

Chasing the girl into the ruins of a deserted abbey on the moor a terrifying howl rang out in the night. The pack of dogs with Hugo suddenly stopped in their tracks, and turned back in horror, but Hugo continued on after the maid which turned out to be the last thing he ever did. He was attacked by the mysterious hound and found dead the next morning, ripped to pieces, in the moor around the abbey.

Some 150 years later the curse of the Hound of the Baskerville resurfaced as one of the two last remaining Baskerville's Sir. Charles was found in the same place where his descendant Hugo was killed dead from heart failure. Sir Charles had seen something so horrific that his heart suddenly stopped. With now only Sir. Henry Baskerville left to carry on the Baskerville name it was now up to the legendary English detective Sherlock Holmes to prevent him from ending up like the previous Baskerville; victims of the hound from hell "The Hound of the Baskerville".

Entertaining and suspenseful mystery with a lot of surprises along the way until you find out what exactly is behind the curse of the Baskerville family. Sherlock Holmes gets suspicious almost at once when Sir. Henry is almost killed by a tarantula spider, that was hidden in his boot. Holmes deducted that there's someone in and around Baskerville hall who want's Sir. Henry, like his uncle Sir. Charles, dead and for good reason. He's to inherited the Baskerville fortune and the massive Baskerville hall and all the land around it, but who exactly is he, or she?

Holmes has to go back some 150 years to find out that Hugo's carousing and decadence lead to a rape of one of his servants that resulted in the birth of a child that was in line to inherit Baskerville Hall only if all the other Baskerville's were done away with. That nightmare, for Sir. Henry Baskerville, was about to come tragically and prophetically true.

It takes a while for Holmes to find out just whom that person is. It's with an important piece of evidence being a missing painting of Hugo that reveals a defect, of his body not his mind, that would give the killer away. It was the killer who purposely stole it to keep anyone, like Sherlock Holmes, from finding that startling fact out.
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8/10
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Scarecrow-8831 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Baker Street detective team of Sherlock Holmes(Peter Cushing, in fine form as the studious, sophisticated, unflappable intellectual with a nose that knows)and Dr. John Watson(André Morell as the always-surprised good physician who often inspires the answers Holmes needs through out-loud observation)are called on by Doctor Richard Mortimer(Francis De Wolff)to protect the well being of the last remaining relative of the Baskerville family line, the tall& dashing Sir Henry(Christopher Lee, with not much to do except for looking like a wealthy aristocrat). It seems that an old family curse has taken Henry's uncle Charles through a hereditary heart ailment causing failure at what seems like something that elicited shocking fright. Henry also has a weak heart so it provides Holmes and Watson with an opportunity to not only cease the death of the last aristocrat left while also solving a mystery of what has taken the lives of several of the Baskervilles. Various sub-plots develop which may provide a key to the mystery's being solved, father and daughter poverty-stricken farmers, Mr. Stapleton(Ewen Solon) and Cecile(Marla Landi) who live on the moors near the Baskerville Hall, a tarantula that was stolen from Bishop Frankland(Miles Malleson whose priest really loves his sherry)a renowned entomologist whose stolen spider was placed in Henry's boot to possibly kill him, an escaped convict who was found butchered and mutilated wearing some of Henry's clothes, and a dagger used by Sir Hugo to kill a servant girl which has been found by Holmes at the sight where the convict's body was first found. As Holmes and Watson pursue the answers that unravel as the case develops clues, the howling of the moors enhances as does the possible love affair between Sir Henry and Cecile.

Important aspect in the tale has Holmes finding an abandoned old mineshaft where a bone, important to the mystery of what it howling, lies inside. While looking and finding the bone(with Mortimer and Mr. Stapleton guiding him inside), a cave-in collapses almost killing our sleuth begging the question..who would want to silence Holmes? Is Holmes finding a specific bone in this mine detrimental to a certain discovery someone wants kept hidden?

Hammer studios provides fans of atmospheric horror another colorful, flavorful flick with the Moors an exciting setting for a Holmes/Watson mystery. With Cushing and Morell a fun team, and the fog shrouded moors providing an eerie mood, this is a ton of fun for fans of Conan Doyle and Hammer horror.
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7/10
"When you are poor no one wants to know you." Hammer studio's attempt at the classic Holmes mystery.
poolandrews22 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Hound of the Baskervilles starts in the mid 18th Century as Sir Hugo Baskerville (David Oxley) is enraged after a peasant girl escapes his lecherous clutches, Hugo chases after her & murders her but ends up with his throat torn out by a Hound from Hell that has been said to terrorise the Baskerville family ever since... The most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, has also been found dead with a look of terror on his face although it has been officially put down as a heart condition, however Sir Charles best friend Dr. Richard Mortimer (Francis De Wolff) thinks other forces may be at work & asks the worlds foremost detective Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) & his trusty assistant Dr. John Watson (Andre Morell) for help in discovering the true nature of Sir Charles death. The last of the Baskervilles Sir Henry (Christopher Lee) is set to inherit the entire Baskerville estate & fortune, after an attempt is made on his life Holmes is convinced that he is facing great evil & that Sir Henry is in grave danger. Sir Henry, Watson & Dr. Mortimer travel down to Devonshire where the town of Grimpen & Baskerville Hall are located, as Sir Henry introduces himself to the locals & Watson starts to investigate it seem almost everyone has a strong motive for murder...

This British made Holmes mystery was directed by Terence Fisher & produced by Hammer who are perhaps both better know for their Dracula & Frankenstein series of films & a fine adaptation it is too with plenty of Hammer horror overtones & aspects. Maybe this version is not for the purists though, the script by Peter Bryan based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle changes quite a few things in an attempt to add a bit of tension, a few dramatics & quicken the pace up considerably. The film opens with flashback to the Sir Hugo incident unlike every other version I've seen which opens with Sir Charles Death & subsequently Dr. Mortimer tells Holmes about the legend later. While Watson & Sir Henry travel to Baskerville Hall on their own Holmes absence is probably only a few minutes as he turns up almost immediately again unlike other versions where he virtually disappears for the majority of the film, I think the idea behind this was to have Holmes on screen as Hammer thought audiences wanted to see him rather than Watson. Sir Henry is no longer American, the relationship between him & Cecile Stapelton (Marla Landi) develops in a different way & is barely touched upon, there is a scene in a mine shaft in which someone tries to kill Holmes & the ending is slightly different to any version I've seen. None of this makes it a bad film, far from it in fact as I rather enjoyed seeing Hammer taking the basic story & trying to make a commercial film out of it that the paying punters would flock to. This version still retains the strong story elements that make this such a timeless & entertaining tale but tries to spruce things up a bit. Director Fisher presents the typical image of Holmes complete with deerstalker cap, cape & pipe, I'm not sure what happened to the Hound in this version as it only gets about 2 minutes worth of screen time right at the end. Technically The Hound of the Baskervilles is solid, this was the first Sherlock Holmes film to be filmed in colour & it looks a little garish at times, the sets are great & the Hammer horror influence shines through with fog enshrouded ruins, dark Gothic type castle interiors & creaky old mines & as a whole it's well made throughout. The acting is good with Hammer regulars Cushing & Lee always fun to watch with the rest of the experienced cast doing a good job. Not the best version of The Hound of the Baskervilles but by no means the worst & if your familiar with the story then this may throw a few surprises & those without the patience to sit through a 2 plus hour adaptation then this is the one to go for as it runs for less than 90 minutes & considerably condenses things yet still manages to retain the ingredients that make the story such a success. Definitely worth a watch for mystery & Hammer fans.
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