The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

MPI Home Video

Cast: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Lionel Atwill, Richard Greene, John Carradine.

Rating: NR.

Run time: 80 mins

Genre: Drama.

Verdict: Brilliant (see rating system)

This 1939 classic remains the best Sherlock Holmes movie ever and I'm pleased to report it gets the deluxe treatment in this wonderfully restored edition from MPI.

England's errie Dartmoor wilderness was recreated by 20th Century Fox on its Hollywood lot and, having been to the real place, I have to say they did a brilliant job. Fog swirls around the creepy landscape and old country houses. And when you hear the hound of the title howling in the night, it really does make the hairs on your neck stand on end.

The best-known of the Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles tells of a mythical beast from hell that has cursed the Baskerville family for generations.

When Sir Charles Baskerville dies in mysterious circumstances outside of Baskerville Hall, the footprint of a gigantic hound is seen nearby. With Sir Charles's nephew Sir Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene) arriving from Canada to claim his inheritance, local physician Dr. Mortimer (Lionel Atwill) contacts Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to try and prevent another tragedy.

It doesn't take Holmes long to deduce that there is genuine evil lurking on Dartmoor behind the legend of the hound - and Sir Henry is in deadly danger.

Splendidly acted by a great cast, including Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson), the movie features crisp direction by Sidney Landfield and that wonderful black and white cinematography. And the hound is really worth waiting for!

If you're a fan, please note that MPI Home Video has issued outstanding remastered versions of all 14 Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies made between 1939-1946. Extras include audio commentaries, informative liner notes and photo galleries.

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