The Hound of the Baskervilles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hound of the Baskervilles Reviews

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April 25, 2017
Very good, although not totally accurate to the original story. Great performances nonetheless.
April 2, 2017
Truly grim - since the makers weren't interested in sticking to either the original plot or the characterisation it is hard to see why they bothered at all. Self indulgent, messy, with none of the eerieness or sense of fear and threat in the book and the 1939 version, you just don't care what happens to any of these people. Why a Victorian English peasant girl would talk with an Italian accent and wear what looks like a velvet riding dress is never explained, but that is just one of many anachronisms which show how half-hearted the makers' interest was. not even Peter Cushing can save it, hard though he tries.
January 11, 2017
Terence Fisher's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1959) smells of fine liquor, wooden pipes, old cologne, and wet -- it's a Sherlock Holmes movie that feels like a Sherlock Holmes movie, that feels like the novels Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote with such consideration to atmospheric detail. Witty and intrepid, the film captures the jaunty spirit of its source and brings an involving adventure to the screen. A rollicking good time it is, and we have Fisher, his screenwriter (the dramatically able Peter Bryan), and their perfectly cast team of actors to thank.
This time around, Holmes and his loyal Watson are respectively played by Peter Cushing and André Morell, whose chemistry prospers simply because both actors understand the people they're playing with immaculate specificity. In the film, the deadly duo is hired by Dr. Richard Mortimer (Francis De Wolff) to investigate the recent death of Sir Charles Baskerville, an aristocrat whose demise could very easily be linked to the infamous "curse" of Baskerville hall.
As the legend goes, a bloodthirsty supernatural hound stalks the moors of the property and is willing to kill anyone with a reason to be outside the manor's walls during the darkest hours of the night. History has proven that nearly all heirs to the Baskerville fortune have met an end greeted by a murderous growl, a ruthless lunge, and a lightning quick sinking of fangs into the neck.
So Mortimer, in addition to being suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his friend's fate, also wants Holmes and Watson to serve as protectors of sorts to Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee, in a rare heroic turn), who plans to move into Baskerville hall promptly. Certain that the capacity for foul play is lurking about the premises, Holmes and Watson probe the case and eventually comes to the conclusion that much more than history repeating itself is in place. But who's involved, and why they're involved, is the ever elusive question.
And the snooping is gripping -- "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is a dusty treasure chest we're eager to break the shiny gold locks off. The story itself is over a century old and yet feels fresh in Fisher and co's hands. They link the novel's old-fashioned appeal to the artistic flourishes consistently found in the films made by the movie's production company, Hammer Films. Which means that its colors are expressive, its ambience is baroque, and its tone, while strictly imitating that of an analytical whodunit, transitions beautifully between the clinicality that comes with dignified chatter and the creaky horrors that stay in sync with Hammer's stylistic tendencies.
Much of "The Hound of the Baskervilles's" effectiveness, too, relies colossally on its inspired casting. Cushing, brilliant, relishes his every line -- every word that comes out of his mouth slices, and every movement he makes intimidates (despite being delivered by a rather skinny frame). Whereas Morell (also superb) quietly observes, making smart quips or smirking accusations when need be, Cushing goes for the throat, unafraid of proving that his Holmes is inarguably the smartest person in the room.
Even Lee, Count Dracula himself, shines in a role with the potential to be rote. His being cast against type is a bold move that pays off. Because we're so accustomed to fearing him, his dark eyes and foreboding presence enough to threaten with even the quickest of a glance, it only makes sense that he play a would-be hero that we still find ourselves not completely trusting. He fits Holmes's firm belief that everyone, no matter their standing in the investigation, is a suspect perfectly, grooming the notion to its full effect.
Its spotlessly conceived components working together efficiently, the film makes the "Sherlock Holmes" movie into a tuneful symphony, and its seemingly effortless manufacturing renders it as among the best adaptations to have crossed the daunting path of the silver screen. "The Hound of the Baskervilles," dank, mysterious, and, most importantly, exciting, is a force that reminds us why its ageless central figure has continued to capture the attention of the public in the decades following his original conception so strongly. A must.
½ December 19, 2016
Hammer is best known for producing horror movies, but they put out a rather successful version of the classic Sherlock Holmes novel shortly before vampires, zombies, werewolves, and ghosts became the focus of their output. Peter Cushing is delightful as Holmes while Christopher Lee provides a solid foil as Sir Henry Baskerville. The film takes numerous liberties with the source material, but Terence Fisher's taut, atmospheric direction never allows the narrative to become anything less than gripping and enjoyable. The Hammer version of The Hound of the Baskervilles is a proudly middlebrow adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story, but it's still one of the most effective renditions out there.
½ July 15, 2016
AWOOOO how julesy cools off
my fav sherlock in may ways
esp the cast
and the mood
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2016
A Hammer Films Production, which is to say a little garish, loud, and predictable. But never dull.
January 16, 2016
Awesome actors in a classic tale of the world's greatest detective.
½ October 19, 2015
While not every change to the story works or feels weighty enough, this Hammer Holmes delivers exactly what you'd want: atmosphere, blood and a fun ride. What helps elevate the proceedings is a great turn from Cushing as a near spot on Holmes from the original books.
½ July 6, 2015
This Hammer production of the classic Holmes tale is one of the most entertaining screen adaptations of the iconic detective to date, with a marvellous turn by Peter Cushing and a terrific gothic style that carries great atmosphere and spooky tension throughout.
March 30, 2015
My favorite Hammer film. I really wish Cushing did more movies like this.
February 6, 2015
After the successes of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), Hammer Films decided to take on Sherlock Holmes, by adapting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1902 Holmes book The Hound of the Baskervilles. It's mix of gothic horror and mystery made it perfect material for Hammer, and it's actually one of the best Sherlock Holmes films of them all too. Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Dr. Watson (André Morell), are approached by Dr. Richard Mortimer (Francis de Wolff) to investigate the murder of Sir Hugo Baskerville (David Oxley), who was mauled on the moors surrounding his grounds by some beast. Watson goes off first to meet the new owner of Baskerville Hall, Sir Henry (Christopher Lee), Hugo's brother who has arrived from South Africa. Watson also meets locals Stapleton (Ewen Solon) and his daughter Cecille (Marla Landi), who seem to have an agenda all of their own, and they have something to have. When Holmes arrives, he also suspects that Stapleton has something to hide. This film should have had Hammer making a franchise of Sherlock Holmes films, but sadly, this was the only one they made, which is a shame, as Cushing makes a brilliant Holmes, and it's one of Hammer's most lavish films, and it's one of the few they spent big bucks on. It's suspenseful and very compelling to watch.
½ December 10, 2014
Hammer Studios' notable 1959 version of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic. Peter Cushing and Andre Morrell are excellent as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson who are set about to investigate the perils in store for the latest Baskerville heir, played admirably by Christopher Lee. Andre Morell also deserves kudos for his solid portrayal of Watson, which somewhat makes up for one of the central problems with the story itself-to wit, that Holmes himself is missing for a good section of the story. Francis de Wolff as Dr. Mortimer and Ewen Solon and Marla Lundi as the Stapletons round out the excellent cast. The film that successfully segues between mystery to horror because director Terence Fisher conjures up the right eerie mood, helped by the lead performances, set designs and Technicolor cinematography that portray the gothic atmosphere of the English moors.

This movie takes some liberties with the original story, and is perhaps a bit short; just under 90 minutes. It takes liberties with the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, but is a worthy, enjoyable adaptation of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story. If you're a fan of either Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee or of the Sherlock Holmes stories you will enjoy this movie.
November 12, 2014
another technicolor classic from hammer
November 7, 2014
Considering its age it was quite an enjoyable classic film.
November 2, 2013
I do love a bit of classic Holmes!
½ February 16, 2013
I love Peter Cushing.
½ February 2, 2013
Sherlock Holmes, a legend of literary fiction. Who better to bring the classic character back to life than the Hammer house of horror, a legendary film studio in its own right. Terence Fisher directs this 1959 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most popular tale, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, starring Peter Cushing as the brilliant detective. Cushing is ideally cast in the role, delivering a quirky and arrogant performance that is quite befitting of the character. He is met with equally impressive performances by the entire supporting cast, including Andre Morell as Doctor Watson and the great Christopher Lee as the last surviving member of the Baskerville household. Fisher draws a dark Gothic drapery around the swampy moors, which lends a chilling atmosphere to the growing suspense as Holmes and Watson attempt to unmask the mythical beast that haunts Baskerville Hall. Though slightly abridged and modified to better suit the sensibilities of the silver screen, Hammer's version is surprisingly faithful to the story and overall mood of the original novel. After over fifty years, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES remains as one of the best Sherlock Holmes mysteries to date.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
½ January 13, 2013
Version with evil daughter.
January 8, 2013
Very well done adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes novel. Everyone's acting is superb.
December 22, 2012
One of Hammer's finest moments & easily the best Sherlock Holmes film ever made.

Take note Guy Ritchie
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