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Sherlock Holmes Adv of

Basil Rathbone , Nigel Bruce , Alfred L. Werker    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elementary June 9 2004
Many actors have tried, but none has surpassed Basil Rathbone's embodiment of Sherlock Holmes. The razor-sharp profile, hawk nose and cocaine eyes seem torn straight from the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle. This is, undeniably, one of the great pairings of actor and character in film history.
Odd to think, then, that the first Holmes film with Rathbone and his faithful Dr. Watson, Nigel Bruce, gave neither man starring credit. That honor on "The Hound of the Baskervilles" went to the romantic leading man, Richard Greene.
The lapse in logic was quickly corrected, with Rathbone and Bruce going on to top-bill 13 famed Holmes movies from 1939-46.
The UCLA Film and TV Archive has rescued the films from public domain hell, in a restoration that aims to return them to 35mm theatrical condition using original elements and acetate copies. The results as seen on MPI's DVDs are indeed impressive, with shadows and light elegant and edgy. Wear is within reason, and the audio suffices.
Film historians' commentaries have been added to some of the feature films, explaining, for instance, just how the 19th century detectives ended up battling Nazis in WWII.
The MPI collection -- whose titles are available separately and in sets -- started rolling out in the fall. The series concludes at the beginning, with "Baskervilles" and "Adventures," both made by Fox before Universal took over and "modernized" the Doyle stories. The Uni films have their moments -- "Woman in Green," for example, is grand and grisly entertainment -- but there's no topping these initial releases, set in Victorian times.
"Adventures," the second Fox film, immortalized the line "Elementary, my dear Watson" -- catchy, but never from Doyle's pen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures of the mind May 16 2010
There have been only two long-running Sherlock Holmes actors who were really memorable: Jeremy Brett, and Basil Rathbone. And Rathbone is showcased at his best in one of the early stories about the legendary detective, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," an atmospheric and twisting murder mystery.The one downside: Nigel Bruce's goofy Watson.

Sherlock Holmes (Rathbone) arrives at the courthouse a minute too late, and angrily watches his nemesis Professor Moriarty (George Zucco) go free because of a lack of evidence. Sick of Holmes' investigations, Moriarty decides to utterly ruin Holmes with the most notorious and memorable crime in English history -- by distracting him with a bizarre threat to a young woman.

Specifically, a wealthy young lady arrives at his office, distraught because of a threatening picture that she got in the mail -- and in short order, her brother is murdered, even as her lawyer/suitor tries to convince her not to depend on the detective. Holmes becomes wrapped up in the potential murder, as the stressed-out police try to get him to pay attention to a threat to the Crown Jewels. Will he realize what's truly going on in time, or will Moriarty pull off the crime of the century?

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" was one of the movies that cemented Basil Rathbone as THE Sherlock Holmes, at least until Jeremy Brett entered the scene. It's also one of the better movies that was spun up in the 1930s and 1940s -- a brilliant double-whammy of intertwined cases, deaths and bizarre happenings. And a brilliantly weird Moriarty to boot ("You've murdered a FLOWER!").

Though the whole movie takes place in London, the director cultivated a misty murky atmosphere, in which a corner could hold a murderer and people are never what they seem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great transfer for good film July 18 2004
By A Customer
Most people either love or hate the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes adventures. Critics always point out that the films bear little resemblance to Doyle's original stories, and this is true of the 12 "modernized" movies that Universal made between 1942-46. But the two 20th Century Fox movies (this one and Hound of the Baskervilles) are different. They were quality productions set during the Victorian era and, even when they altered characters or plots, remained true to the flavor of Doyle's creations. Best of all, Bruce's Watson was not the buffoon that he later became in the Universal pictures.
In my opinion, however, most objections are now irrelevant, thanks to the excellent and faithful adaptations that Britain's Granada television made with Jeremy Brett as Holmes. We can finally approach the Rathbone-Bruce films as typical Hollywood literary adaptations of their era, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is grand entertainment. The atmospheric photography, the eye for period detail, and the charming performances are things that film lovers should not deprive themselves of simply because of the film's lack of faithfulness to Doyle's stories. (Critics should keep in mind that Doyle licensed out his characters to other writers -- and even incorporated their inventions into his own stories!) I won't give away the plot, but suffice it to say that Adventures is one of the best of the Rathbone-Bruce series. (I also like Fox's Hound and Universal's Scarlet Claw.)
MPI has really surprised me with the quality of this transfer. Up until now, they've specialized in documentaries and TV shows, so their work here is very promising. (They own distribution rights to Beckett, and I'd love to see them transfer that to DVD.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic
As a child, my winter Saturday afternoons would not be complete without an old black-and-white murder mystery on TV. Read more
Published on July 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Holmes, a must see
Who wouldn't want to share the adventures of Mr. Sherlock Holmes? To live in fog-bound, gas-lit, Victorian London? Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by C. Ford
1.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't give it Half a star, so I gave it 1
I would have only given this movie half a star if I could, and that is because I can use the DVD case for my other CDs. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Poya Haghnegahdar
5.0 out of 5 stars Holmes and Watson are Timeless
Many feel this is the best of the series although for creepy atmosphere and unusual plot, I might vote for The Scarlet Claw. Read more
Published on May 31 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Holmes and Watson are Wonderful
Arguably the best of the series, although for sheer mystery and general creepiness I am partial to the Scarlet Claw. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Bob C
5.0 out of 5 stars Basil Rathbone rules !!
This is the best of the best. If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan and don't own this dvd what are you waiting for !! Read more
Published on May 31 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Awful Subtitles
Whoever wrote the subtitles for the DVD release of these Basil Rathbone - Sherlock Holmes films should be drawn and quartered. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Richard A. Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sherlock Holmes MPI Series
For those that want the ultimate copies of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films, buy the MPI Series.
The picture and sound is perfect! Read more
Published on April 29 2004 by Hal Annapolis
4.0 out of 5 stars Basil Rathbone returns as the Great Detective
Released in September 1939, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" is 20th Century Fox's near perfect follow-up to "The Hound of the Baskervilles" from the same triumphant year. Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by Brian W. Fairbanks
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