Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Overlooked Movies -- The Hound of the Baskervilles

Hammer was best known for horror films, and when the studio made The Hound of the Baskervilles, horror meisters Peter Cushing (Holmes) and Christopher Lee (Sir Henry Baskerville) were picked as the stars.  Andre Morrell is a wonderful Dr. Watson.  The movie doesn't really follow the book, as Hammer obviously wanted to play up some horror elements (note the poster), but it works just fine that way.  It's still a detective story, but the hound is somewhat more frightening than in other versions.

Hammer Films always looked good, and this is a wonderful color version of the Baskerville story.  I'm a big fan of the earlier B&W version with Basil Rathbone, and I own it on DVD, but I have to admit that I like the color in the Hammer version a little better than the B&W.

Cushing is an excellent Holmes, and some of you may remember him from the BBC TV series, in which he did yet another version of the Hound. Morrell is nothing like the Dr. Watson played by Nigel Bruce in the Rathbone film.  He's much more like the Watson of the stories, or so it seems to me.

And finally: Great use of quicksand!


Todd Mason said...

I remember the 1973 or '74 rerelease which trumpeted how widely banned this version had been. I was puzzled as to how offensive it was likely to be; offhandedly, my father noted from across the breakfast table, "They were banning a lot of things then."

pattinase (abbott) said...

This scared me to death as a kid. Always afraid of dogs anyway. Pet Cemetery and Cujo were worse though.

Marsdon said...

I saw this in the theater during its initial American release. As a matter of fact it was the only Hammer film I remember seeing until long afterwards when the horror films started showing up on our local TV station