The Hound of the Baskervilles
(1959)

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AN INTERESTING DAGGER


Director:                       Terence Fisher
Producer:                     Anthony Hinds
Executive Producer:   Michael Carreras and Anthony Nelson Keys
Script:                           Peter Bryan
                                       From the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
Cinematography:        Jack Asher
Special Effects:           Sydney Pearson
Production Design:     Bernard Robinson
Costume:                     Molly Arbuthnot
Music:                          James Bernard

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Sherlock Holmes gets the Gothic treatment in this mix of mystery and supernatural horror from 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 surrounding a legacy of aristocratic cruelty and a devilish dog wandering the swampy moors. Christopher Lee cast in an unusual (non evil role) and Andre Morell as the famous Dr Watson. Filmed many times before and after, the Hammer version ranks high marks due to the casting of Peter Cushing as Holmes, the direction of Terence Fisher, and the familiar attributes that make their films so special and unique.

It begins with a prologue about the curse of the Baskervilles, as we learn that Sir Hugo (David Oxley) murdered a young girl who had escaped from one of his nights of debauchery. Hugo is then killed by a hound from hell, and the years that follow bring the same fate to all male heirs of the Baskerville name. The latest victim is Sir Charles Baskerville, who died of fright on the same Devonshire moors as Sir Hugo did. The new Baskerville heir is Sir Henry (Christopher Lee) who arrives from America to inherit the family property. Peter Cushing and Andre Morell are employed to protect Sir Henry as another mystery unwraps before them.

In the first-ever colour Holmes movie, Peter Cushing is marvellous, fully immersed in the role through use of self-furnished props and enthusiastic mannerisms. Andre Morell provides an intelligent and refined Watson, and the cast is rounded out with a number of Hammer character vets, including Francis De Wolff as the burly Dr. Mortimer and Miles Malleson doing his ‘light relief’ as Bishop Frankland. Not under monster guise the first time for Hammer, Christopher Lee plays Sir Henry with great authority and even gets a love interest (Marla Landi as the feisty Cecile Stapleton).

 

 

 

 

 
 

                           

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The Hound of the Baskervilles