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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)

A Sherlock Holmes spoof about a family that has been haunted for years by the curse of a horrible hound.

Director:

Paul Morrissey

Writers:

Peter Cook (screenplay), Dudley Moore (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cook ... Sherlock Holmes
Dudley Moore ... Doctor Watson / Mrs. Ada Holmes / Mr. Spiggot / Piano Player
Denholm Elliott ... Stapleton
Joan Greenwood ... Beryl Stapleton
Hugh Griffith ... Frankland
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Barrymore
Terry-Thomas ... Dr. Mortimer
Max Wall ... Arthur Barrymore
Kenneth Williams ... Sir Henry Baskerville
Roy Kinnear ... Selden the Axe Murderer
Dana Gillespie ... Mary Frankland
Lucy Griffiths Lucy Griffiths ... Iris
Penelope Keith ... Massage Receptionist
Jessie Matthews ... Mrs. Tinsdale
Prunella Scales ... Glynis
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Storyline

A Sherlock Holmes spoof about a family that has been haunted for years by the curse of a horrible hound.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would turn in his Harris Tweeds if he saw what Pete and Dud have done to his classic tale of old rubbish! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Hund von Baskerville See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Michael White Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's opening credits declare that this movie was made "with a fleeting appearance by Spike Milligan". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nun: Monsieur le Doctor Watson, what is keeping Monsieur Holmes so long?
Doctor Watson: Oh, reassurez-vous yourselves sisters, your holy relic will be with you momentarily.
Nun: But we have been waiting almost one hour!
Doctor Watson: Mr. Holmes is a very busy man sister. Monsieur Holmes is an, erm, tres occupée sister.
Nun: But tomorrow is the festival of St Beryl, already thousands of blind cripples are flocking to the chapel hoping to kiss the relic. In the name of all the flocking blind cripples, I beseech you...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK R2 DVD contains 2 versions of this film. The original 1978 theatrical print that runs 85 mins and a re-edited re-release print that runs 74m. The major differences are (a) in the theatrical print the opening credits are postioned after the scene with the 3 nuns and roll over various amusing shots of Holmes and Watson in their Baker Street study (Holmes is reading a book by Freud called Guilt without Sex). In the re-edited print, the credits are positioned over the pages of the book after the intro scene with Dudley Moore on the piano. These credits are much abbreviated compared to the theatrical print and run much shorter. (b) When Holmes is first seen in shadow playing the violin the re-edited version then cuts back to Watson with the nuns saying he is Budapest and Holmes appearing behind him. The theatrical print extends the footage of Holmes in shadow so he now gets up, turns a light on, turns off a gramophone player and spits out his coffee before meeting the nuns. (c) the scene in which Watson meets Dr Franklin is much abbreviated in the re-edited version. In this version the scene ends after a brief conversation between the two in front of Franklin's shack. The theatrical print continues on with the scene for several minutes as Watson enters the hut with Franklin, views various stuffed animals' heads, and they have a conversation about why Franklin hated the late Sir Charles - jealously over his mistress. Franklin's mistress then enters the hut, the conversation continues, and then Franklin gets insanely jealous and starts strangling his young mistress as Watson crawls out of the building. The longer theatrical cut makes more sense and is better than the shorter print. See more »

Connections

Version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Twelve String Ties
(uncredited)
Music by John Churston (pseudonym of H.M. Farrar)
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A deeply horrendous film
9 September 2001 | by HenryHextonEsqSee all my reviews

I have scarcely, if *ever*, been so disappointed with a film as I was with this. My expectations were hardly particularly high going into the viewing... I certainly did expect more from a film involving Peter Cook, based around the enjoyable Holmesian mythos.

To begin with, the direction was appallingly unsuitable. Paul Morrissey evidently had all the wrong ideas about how to film a comedy and how to illicit comedic performances; he is following the Carry On formula, but this film considerably outstrips the majority of those in terms of the cringe-worthy. Morrissey merely 'directs' an astonishingly experienced and talented cast to go horribly - and I mean horribly - Over The Top, shout a lot, and mixes this with pointless, inapposite crudity. The veteran comic talents of Max Wall - barely in the film, much to his overwhelming relief I suspect - Joan Greenwood, Cook, Moore and Spike Milligan are frittered away carelessly, and allowed to dissolve in an acrid bath of self-abuse. The ageing Greenwood is given an appallingly crass role and embarrassing 'things to do'; Terry-Thomas, clearly an ill man by all accounts at this time, looks completely out of it: a saddening sight. Is Kenneth Williams another to be added to this unfortunate role-call of British comedy greats forcibly desecrated...? Well yes, his performance is every bit the unsubtle, irritating stereotype that many expect of him, including it seems, Paul Morrissey. Such a waste considering the ill-tapped talent the man clearly had; it is hardly surprising to read his increasing despondency about this project in his diaries.

Apparently, Pete n' Dud had a hand in the script-writing, but it really doesn't show; this is committee stuff to the letter, including 'topical' take-offs of "The Exorcist" (1973) as well as the spirit-crushingly inept attempts to 'emulate' the Carry Ons. There are, at best, perhaps one or two middling gags of theirs that surface, but they seem hopelessly out of kilter with the film's remainder. Cook is an aloof, stony-but-insubstantial presence as an 'actor' in this 'picture', Morrissey allowing him no scope for his usual absurdism, shoehorning him into a cardboard nonentity of a role - though surely he himself is culpable, if scripting? Moore is worse, faring poorly as an inept, 'Welsh' Holmes; never once amusing.

This truly is a dire, unspeakable film. The production side of matters is, if anything, as shabby as the rest of the picture; a slipshod shoddiness makes the visuals outright repellent. Strikingly, there is no attempt to truly parody or spoof the Sherlock Holmes mythos; it makes even mediocre films like "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes's Smarter Brother" (1975) or "The Seven Per Cent Solution" (1976) seem like satiric masterworks in comparison. All this ends up doing is lamentably degrading the Holmes mythos it claims association with.

I hated this film intensely - as I am sure you gathered - and can say with the utmost confidence that it symbolises the utter fall from grace of a tradition of British (film) comedy.


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