Sherlock Holmes and his trusty assistant Doctor Watson are called upon to investigate a nasty curse that appears to plague the recently-inherited estate of a nobleman.
The Hound of the Baskervilles has been adapted for the screen numerous times but this is my personal favorite incarnation of the story. It is visually pleasing, suspenseful, well-acted, and never dull. Director Terence Fisher (Horror of Dracula) does a brilliant job bringing the source material to life in a way that is both respectful to the tome on which it is based and allows the picture to stand on its own two feet.
Although this is a Hammer production, it is lacking the gore often associated with the studio’s output and instead comes across a more cerebral offering than one might anticipate. The Hound of the Baskervilles deftly blends a literary classic with certain elements of a Hammer picture. The film starts out with a bang and continues to grow in intensity as each scene unfolds. The pacing is fast but never frenetic. And at a breezy 87-minutes, it does not outstay its welcome.
The production design and costuming here are exquisite. While I am far from an expert on historical accuracy, the set pieces look quite authentic to this untrained eye. The wardrobe is (not surprisingly full of academic-looking tweeds and earth tones).
Although it was released in 1959, this film has a timeless quality. It would be difficult for me to accurately date it without prior knowledge of when the picture was produced. It really is a tried-and-true classic and I find that I enjoy it more every time I watch it.
As for the Twilight Time Blu-Ray release, there are some crackles in the picture; some of the background shots are a bit fuzzy but in spite of that, the colors are bright and vibrant. In several scenes, the reds nearly pop off the screen. Moreover, the audio quality is top notch, leaving little to be desired. The disc is conveniently region free, so customers outside of North America should have no problem getting it to play. Twilight Time has packaged the disc in a clear plastic case with an insert featuring an essay by Julie Kirgo. Naturally, there are ample features, including behind-the-scenes interviews, audio commentary, and more!
You can grab your copy of this limited edition release via the Twilight Time website. If you’re a fan of the film, I would suggest grabbing your copy before the 3,000 available units sell out.
WICKED RATING: [usr=10]
Director(s): Terence Fisher
Writer(s): Peter Bryan, Arthur Conan Doyle (Novel)
Stars: Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, and Christopher Lee
Release: June 14, 2016
Studio/ Production Co: Twilight Time, Hammer Films