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Hound of the Baskervilles (Widescreen)

Peter Cushing , André Morell , Terence Fisher    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Sherlock Holmes gets the Gothic treatment in this mix of mystery and supernatural horror from Britain’s Hammer Films. Peter Cushing is perfectly cast as the great detective, the very embodiment of science and reason (which also made him a great Van Helsing in the Dracula series) in a case wound around a legacy of aristocratic cruelty and a devilish dog wandering the swampy moors. Christopher Lee is a less satisfying fit as the last of the Baskervilles, as he waffles between fear and apathetic disregard, but Andre Morell is a fine Dr. Watson and a far cry from Nigel Bruce’s sweet bumbler from the Hollywood incarnation of the 1940s. Director Terence Fisher was Hammer’s top stylist and the film drips with the mood of the moors, mist hanging in the air, the dying vegetation itself threatening to come to life and trap the next unwary traveler. --Sean Axmaker

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Memorable HOUND March 25 2003
My wife wonders why, oh why, my video/DVD collection contains so many different versions of this classic Sherlock Holmes tale. Well, I understand there have been almost 20 different films based on the story, and I have nowhere near that many. But when push comes to shove, this 1959 Hammer "Hound" starring the wonderful Peter Cushing is probably my most-watched. Rathbone was great, but his version barely had a musical score (imagine having the Hound chase Sir Henry across the moor without a chilling score!) The Brett version is faithful but oddly lackluster. Ian Richardson's version was fine, but felt like a TV movie (which it was).
THIS Hammer film, despite massive wanderings from the original story, just FEELS right. It's spooky. Holmes is eccentric and impatient and perfect. Watson is wonderfully portrayed. The Baker Street rooms are fantastic. And the music--this is the stuff that made me duck my head under the covers when I watched old horror films as a kid.
There are plenty of different versions of "Hound" out there to see. Many have their "moments" of brilliance. But for pure enjoyment, you can do no better than Cushing's version. (I'm still dying to see his 1968 BBC version, almost impossible to get ahold of.) A pleasant, fun, and memorable "Hound of the Baskervilles."
And the few DVD extra features, thanks to Christopher Lee, provide added fun, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any Hammer fan... March 23 2004
It's only right that Hammer Films - home of the "Hammer Horrors" - should do an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles; the story skirts the line between mystery and horror. It is just right for the Hammer touch of macabre. Terrence Fisher evokes the lonely forbidding isolation of the moors as described in the novel. It has the look of a Hammer film. Of course, the Hammer films never had large budgets and most of the day-for-night shots look like day-for-day, but you have to meet these films on their own terms.
The strength of the Hammer films has always been the quality of its two principal actors - Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Peter Cushing gives another fine performance as Holmes. Christopher Lee has a change of pace from his usual role of playing a monster to playing the romantic lead. Of course, the filmmakers take some liberties with the story but, on the whole, I was surprised just how closely it follows the book.
One of the most valuable additions to this DVD is a new interview with Christopher Lee. Lee is always fond of reminiscing about the old days. He talks about what it was like filming the Hammer Horrors and he gives a moving tribute to the late Peter Cushing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If anybody was born to play Sherlock Holmes it was Peter Cushing. Sure, Basil Rathbone owns the role but Cushing manages to portray Holmes quirks better than just about any other actor that has taken on the role. Hammer's Hound bears very little resemble to Arthur Conan Doyle's original, but does manage to inject atmosphere into this Holmes adventure. What's really refreshing is the fact that Watson isn't portrayed as a bumbling idiot as he is in the Rathbone series of films.
Christopher Lee is a bit miscast as Henry Baskerville and the role is significantly underwritten. Lee gives a solid performance but it's evident in watching him that he doesn't quite have a handle on the character. Part of the blame can be layed at the foot of Jimmy Sangster's occasionally incomphrensible screenplay. It's also possible that director Terence Fisher may have had a hand in rewrites as he was known to do so (and the result was usually pretty incoherent).
Fisher's direction is confident and involving although it lacks the zip he exhibited in his finest Hammer films. The color photography is stunning on this MGM/US transfer and the analog artifacts are kept to a minimum. The extras (particular the observations by Lee on his frequent co-star Cushing)are enlightening at times.
Although not the ultimate Hound adaption, Fisher's film is solid entertainment even if it does take signficant liberities with the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film -Cushing IS Holmes Sept. 15 2002
By Jim Jr
Anyone who has read the Sherlock Holmes stories has his own personal view of who and what Sherlock is. For me, Peter Cushing is the best and truest interpretation of my view of the character. He outshines J. Britt, Basil Rathbone and all others. The only other actor who comes close is Christopher Plummer in "Murder By Decree" (Holmes meets Jack the Ripper with James Mason as probably the best Dr. Watson). Cushing was 99% the Holmes I have always pictured.
It is wonderful to see a side of Christopher Lee that is never shown in other films. He proved he can be a fine human character as opposed to the supernatural creatures he is usually associated with.
The only acting choice I have trouble with is the principal female character as played by Marla Landi. She has a heavy accent that is very difficult to understand. For most of her scenes, I had to turn on the subtitles to know what she was saying.
I've never seen a film or TV version completely faithful to the original book, but this version is true to the SPIRIT of the story and is a really engrossing and entertaining film. This should be the true test of the film, does it hold interest, is it well acted and does it entertain. The answers to all of these questions is YES. For anyone wanting an exact reproduction of the original, it would be better to lock yourself in a quiet room and play the story on the screen of your own imagination. Then you will get the Holmes you dream of and the exact details of the book. For anyone else, this as a fine and satisfying experience.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching
Anything with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee staring in a Hammer Production is worth watching. Good cast and worth having in a DVD library.
Published 12 months ago by Ed Duplissie
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
I read this book more than two dozen times. This movie is several million miles apart from original written version. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2005 by Nimish Parikh
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of talent!
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing - sounds like a recipe for success!
If you are not familiar with the original story, you will have a moderately hard time following... Read more
Published on July 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fisher's Best
One of Terence Fisher's best films, in an immaculate transfer to DVD. Buy immediately; this is one the best Holmes films, and one of the finest films that Hammer ever made. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars the hound of the baskervilles
Published on Nov. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film -Cushing IS Holmes
Anyone who has read the Sherlock Holmes stories has his own personal view of who and what Sherlock is. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2002 by Jim Jr
3.0 out of 5 stars Good acting, but disappointing plot
Let me first say that I have read the Arthur Conan Doyle novel and the story is fantastic. It is often considered the best detective novel, certainly from Doyle, and for the rest... Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2002 by Michael
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
After a tremendous prologue this film falls apart. Doyle's classic has been rearranged so much it almost seems like another story. Only the bones of the classic are left.
Published on Aug. 24 2002 by A. Grossman
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Faithful, but Good
This is a pretty good and well made movie. Peter Cushing and Andre Morell make a good Holmes and Watson. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2002
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