Thursday, June 13, 2013


Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959) d. Fisher, Terence (UK)

Riding the success of their remakes of Frankenstein and Dracula, Hammer Studios seized upon another opportunity to breathe Technicolor life into a cinematic/literary icon: Sherlock Holmes. Peter Cushing dons the deerstalker with the same intelligent, dedicated authority of his Baron and Van Helsing characters, with Andre Morell’s Watson a decidedly less buffoonish take than Nigel Bruce’s incarnation in the 1930s-40s Basil Rathbone series.

Christopher Lee is perfectly cast as the arrogant yet vulnerable Henry Baskerville and is ably supported by Francis De Wolff, Ewen Solon and Marla Landi as the fiery Cecile.

Of particular note is Miles Malleson’s comic work as the bumbling, sherry-sipping Bishop – the interplay between he and “Props Peter” during the telescope scene is a beaut.

While not 100% faithful to Conan Doyle’s source material, the superlative mystery/adventure yarn was well received by critics and audiences alike – one can only wonder why Hammer did not pursue further Holmes installments.

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