This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles

After being told of a legend that there is a curse upon Baskerville Hall in the form of a hell hound that terrorizes the Baskerville family; Sherlock Holmes is then told of a recent killing of one of the Baskerville heirs, killed in a manner similar to that of which the legend tells. Holmes then takes up the case in a bid to stop the killings and begin his investigation to discover what exactly the Hound of the Baskervilles legend is.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 detective/mystery Hammer Production. It was directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, Andre Morell as Dr Watson and Christopher Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville. Originally Peter Cushing's portrayal was criticised, mainly due to Basil Rathbone, who had been the definitive Sherlock Holmes up until that point, not being in the role. But as the years went on audiences grew to like Cushing's portrayal. Peter Cushing reprised the role of the sleuth nine years later in a Sherlock Holmes BBC television series.

Having never seen any adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel I have nothing to compare this one to, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was filmed with elements established in horrors produced by Hammer, this is due to the film being directed by cult Hammer Horror director Terence Fisher, famous for such Hammer classics as Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and many more. The use of Hammer's atmospheric touch and loud, booming, fast paced music made it feel like a horror production all that was missing was the (for the time) shocking violence. I really enjoyed this horror feel that had been brought to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle favourite. Peter Cushing gives a brilliant performance as the intelligent and sometimes egotistical sleuth. While Christopher Lee also gives a good performance as the last of the Baskervilles who's life is at threat, of which it's nice to see Lee in a role that allows him to have frequent dialogue and for what must be one of the few times that he isn't the villain of the story. I wouldn't say this is great but I did find it to be a good film and generally a decent Hammer Production.

The Hound of the Baskervilles 3/5

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