First, let me start by saying I've owned all 14 movies on VHS for years and enjoyed all of them, and now that the dvd's are out, I'll be buying them again, but not all of them.
In my humble opinion the best 9 titles in the series are: The Hound of the Baskervilles(1), The Adventures or Sherlock Holmes(2),The Voice of Terror(3), The Secret Weapon(4), Faces Death(6),The Scarlet Claw(8), The House of Fear(10), Pursuit to Algiers(12), and Terror by Night(13).
The remaining 5, Sherlock Holmes in Washington, The Spiderwoman, The Pearl of Death, The Woman in Green, and Dressed to kill are
all decent, but not stellar like some of the other titles, especially after repeated viewings. Surprisingly, Pursuit to Algiers and Terror by night, the 12th and 13th entries respectively, are the two sleepers late in the series, GREAT!!, while Dressed to kill is kind of a let down for the series finale! I think Basil Rathbone had had his fill by this time, and it shows in his somewhat lackluster performance, compared to earlier entries. "The Hound" and the "Adventures of" (both 1939, and offered only separately), are clearly the two best in the series, and also the longest at about 80-85 minutes, while the rest of the series clock in between 60-74 minutes, depending on the title. It's a shame these movies weren't longer, like 90 minutes or so.
Any of the three volume sets offered here by MPI are a good place to start for any fan, but I'm choosing individual tiltes this time to get the cream of the crop. I'm also ordering my first of the Jeremy Brett series, which are superb, and a nice refreshing change, but I'll always come back to Rathbone, still the ultimate Holmes!! Buy them all!, or at least the 9 I've suggested, I think they're the best of the series.