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Sherlock Holmes:Hounds/Baskerv

Basil Rathbone , Nigel Bruce , Sidney Lanfield    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOUND: A Child's Memory July 15 2004
Format:DVD
I first saw this movie on TV when I was 9 or 10 in 1963-64. We lived in Los Angeles, and local channel 9 would run the SAME movie, Monday through Friday, for one week at 7:00 or 8:00 on its "Million Dollar Movie" program (a ridiculous title nowadays). Anyway, I watched it all five times in one week and adored it. I didn't see it again until its special, limited re-release to theaters in 1975; by then, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Sherlockian. Remarkably, my 10-year-old mind hadn't exaggerated the greatness of Rathbone or this film. It remained marvelous!
Now it's available on DVD...and what a wonderful transfer. And the commentary is superb. I haven't yet watched it five nights in a row, but it certainly deserves that kind of attention. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Watson's finest hour on film June 9 2004
Format:DVD
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.
"Baskervilles" remains one of the most famous and fondly remembered Holmes films, but it is largely Dr. Watson's tale.
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Format:DVD
Finally a pristine version of the 1939 Twentieth Century Fox classic, "The Hound of the Baskervilles," has been released on DVD -- fully restored, with unsurpassed audio and video quality.
No contemporary film comes close to the suspense you will encounter in this Darryl Zanuck production. Life-long friends Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes) and Nigel Bruce (Dr. Watson) play off each other to perfection in "Hound." What is amazing is that, in actuality, Bruce was three years younger than Rathbone!
There are myriad twists and turns in this thrilling tale. From the opening scene of Sir Charles Baskerville's death to the moment when Holmes reveals the name of Sir Charles' murderer, this classic film will not disappoint.
A stellar supporting cast, lead by horror villains Lionel Atwill (Dr. Mortimer) and John Carradine (Barryman), delights for the entire 80-minutes. In fact, Atwill's Dr. Mortimer is so innately menacing, that it is almost a disappointment that he is not found to be Sir Charles' murderer at film's end. Alas, Holmes' fans are well aware that Atwill returns in the 1942 Universal film, "The Secret Weapon," as Professor Moriarty. As a side note, Atwill was blacklisted by the major studios (Fox, Warners, MGM, and Paramount) after it was made public that he conducted an "orgy" at his Brentwood estate in 1941; thus only the studio known for horror films, Universal, would give him work in the 40s -- a waste of tremendous talent.
Do yourself a favor and purchase "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," (also on MPI DVD) in addition to this classic tale of suspense.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, But Excellent DVD May 4 2004
Format:DVD
You will read dozens of reviews of the movie, I'm sure, so I'll leave my review of the movie to two words: "LOVED IT."
DVD quality is really quite good; of course, leaps and bounds beyond ANYTHING available to the home market EVER before. Nice, clean packaging with a thin-looking but richly written booklet included inside. The disc has the photo from the front imprinted, with almost a purple tint... for nighttime I suppose.
As I understand, this restoration was done a number of years ago, and was not digital... I believe it, although I will say I believe the restorers squeezed every square inch of detail out of their source material possible in the analog domain.
First, the flaws: there are still occasional nicks and scratches, although not many more than I see in my DVD of "It's A Wonderful Life."
The sound has some low-level hiss, and there is occasional pop and crackle, only occasionally (once? Twice?) of any significant volume.
About 18 minutes in there appears to be some minor damage, possibly the degrading of the nitrate print they were working from?
Additionally, there are about three places in the film where a single frame appears to be warped, creating a "blip" in the flow of the motion on the screen.
Also odd was my first playing: when it came to the end of the 9th chapter, instead of going on to the 10th it jumped back to the beginning of the 9th! This might have been my player, as I was unable to reproduce this either by scanning back or by playing through the movie from the beginning.
One other oddity is that in multiple places the background seems to "pulse," usually getting slightly darker, and it appears to be two "pulses" per second.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars See where Scooby and Shaggy got their Inspiration!
This film isn't perfect: the production values are a bit low and the supporting cast weak; it looks and feels like an early talkie. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by ixta_coyotl
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Version is excellent
The new DVD format release of this movie has just come out. The picture quality is excellent, and the "Bonus" material includes a great commentary by the same narrator... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Charles Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Holmes and still the best
When I was about 10 or 11 years old I used to love to come home from school and tune into BBC2 to catch a new Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movie. Read more
Published on April 29 2004 by Darren Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars No UCLA restoration Hound or Adventures
In regards to other reviewers queries this movie as well as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were not restored like the Universal set's were. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Ryan Piekenbrock
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie drips with atmosphere!....
This is such a great movie,with Holmes and Watson in costume and at the turn of the century...Add interesting sets,camera movements and historical flashbacks and its hard to... Read more
Published on April 4 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Landmark thriller
20th Century Fox's 1939 production of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" wasn't the first film based on Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel, but as the first Sherlock Holmes film set... Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by Brian W. Fairbanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Restoration of a True Classic
With the release of this feature and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," all 14 classic films by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce will have finally been released in a quality DVD... Read more
Published on March 12 2004 by E. Hornaday
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only One
This was the only true Conan Doyle mystery that Basil got to do, in this set of 14 world reknown films..... Read more
Published on March 2 2004 by Gandalf T. Grey
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