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.