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January 28, 2005

The Hound of the Baskervilles

1939.USA.Lanfield

3.0 / 4.0

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a lean, tight version of the famous Sherlock Holmes tale. There’s hardly a wasted frame, unless you object to the silly romantic subplot between Henry Baskerville and Beryl Stapleton. Even a campy séance scene fits the mood of the film. And at less than eighty minutes, the running time is just right. Basil Rathbone is great as the detective, and Nigel Bruce is fun as a comic, bumbling Watson. Some critics object to director Lanfield’s horror approach to the story, but it works quite well and results in some atmospheric shots of the foggy moors around Baskervilles Hall and a genuinely monstrous hound. On the downside, the resolution is a bit underwhelming and Holmes disappears for a long chunk of the second act, leaving Watson and Henry as the main characters. Interestingly, a tame line of dialogue suggesting Holmes’ drug use (“Oh, Watson, the needle.”) was controversial at the time of the film’s release.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jan the Man said...

Your blog is great Quack Corleone! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about Sherlock Holmes, these days! I have a new blog and a new website if you want to come leave me a comment or two! May I put a link to this blog of yours on mine? My name is Jan Manzer and I'm new to blogging. Would appreciate you checking out my site at Jan Manzer dot com. I tried a light-hearted spoof on this new site about my favourite detective, Mr. S. Holmes. I took some of the stories and did a search-and-replace on my own name. Kinda weird but kinda cool at the same time. Let me know what you think. you could try A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA first. it's located at Jan Manzer & the Scandal in Bohemia dot com. Here's a sample excerpt from that story with my name inserted: "I had seen little of Jan Manzer lately. My marriage had drifted us away from each other. My own complete happiness, and the home-centred interests which rise up around the man who first finds himself master of his own establishment, were sufficient to absorb all my attention, while Jan Manzer, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues, and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police. From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers at Trincomalee, and finally of the mission which he had accomplished so delicately and successfully for the reigning family of Holland. Beyond these signs of his activity, however, which I merely shared with all the readers of the daily press, I knew little of my former friend and companion."

6:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Book was horrible and i didn't understand the meaning of it.........pointless.........i mean come on.

10:22 pm  
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