Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of the Baskervilles|
Actors: Ian Richardson, Donald Churchill, Denholm Elliott, Glynis Barber, Brian Blessed
Director: Douglas Hickox
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sherlock Holmes (Ian Richardson) faces a supernatural mystery when a distinguished but absent-minded doctor (Denholm Elliott) hires the legendary detective to investigate the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville. The doctor r... more »
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Probably the best
dangertim | Houston, TX USA | 05/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the exception of the cheesy merry-go-round dog attack at the beginning of this TV movie, this version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is superb. Ian Richardson plays Holmes with a flair that matches the great Jeremy Brett. It's a shame that Richardson's Holmes is only captured in one other occasion on film. ("The Sign of Four") In contrast, it's also a shame that "Hound" is probably the most screen adapted literary work ever (there are at least 10 films) but there is no perfect definitive version. This is probably as close as we're going to get. This film, made in 1983, far outshines the 2000 BBC version with its horrid CGI dog and a Watson who is likely computer generated as well. Fans of the Jeremy Brett film may be surprised at the stellar cast of this one, featuring Denholm Elliott ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), Eleanor Bron ("The House of Mirth"), Connie Booth ("Monty Python"), and noted actor Brian Blessed (you'll know him when you see him if you don't already). The film also features Ronald Lacey as probably the best Inspector Lestrade ever. (Lacey was also in "Raiders" and the Jeremy Brett version of "The Sign of Four".) Martin Shaw's spin as the Texan Sir Henry Baskerville surprisingly turns out to be more pleasant than not. At times the film is on the gritty side. The scene with Sir Hugo chasing his servant's daughter for that evening's recreational rape is darker than one would expect, but precisely where it needs to be cinematically. When you consider realism, this "Hound" is unequalled.Fans of Ian Richardson should also check him out in "Murder Rooms", a BBC series where he plays Dr. Joseph Bell - a real Victorian doctor universally recognized as Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes character."
Excellent and Memorable
Daniel R. Darby | Simi Valley, CA United States | 07/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1983 version of the Hound, with Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes, has rarely received the accolades it so richly deserves. While not the most faithful adaptation of the Conan Doyle classic, it is nevertheless sumptuously atmospheric. It features a truly menacing hound that more closely approximates the horror elicited by the novel's original than the veritable slew of disappointing hounds from several other film versions, the obvious exception being the equally terrifying Basil Rathbone hound. This TV movie's strengths stem from a variety of sources. First of all, Michael Lewis's engaging, memorable film score is exquisitely dynamic and resonates with excitement. Secondly, the production's choice of authentic Devonshire locales for outdoor filming, and effective use of sound stages to evoke the melancholy and dreary mystique of the moors at nighttime,imbues this stylish version with an appropriately gothic flavor. It stunningly depicts the eerie essence of the Grimpen Mire, replete with its miasma of swirling, amorphous ground mist, and compellingly involves the viewer in the visual ambience of its surroundings. The film's denouement, as Holmes pursues his villainous quarry through the mire's impenetrable sea of fog, is masterfully photographed and provides a highly dramatic and satisfying catharsis to an enjoyable film.
This is not to discount the film's few shortcomings. Certainly Richardson's Holmes, invariably prone to overtly amiable behavior, deviates from the disconcerting arrogance and brooding demeanor so brilliantly and faithfully rendered by Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett. This is not to negate Richardson's charismatic and magnetic presence, however, and he is a pleasure to watch. (Recently, he compellingly played Dr. Joseph Bell, the real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, in an equally atmospheric mystery series broadcast on Public Television). However, his Holmes portrayal remains somewhat revisionist. Furthermore, Donald Churchill's slightly bumbling rendition of Dr. Watson is too much of a frustrating throwback to Nigel Bruce's comedic and dim-witted depiction of the much maligned-doctor in the classic Basil Rathbone films of the 1940s. As Watson's character, for once, takes center stage in the Hound, casting for this role is more imperatively crucial than for Holmes. Among the most convincing and enjoyable Watsons from productions past included the more cerebral Andre Morell from the 1959 Hammer film and the equally astute and somber Edward Hardwicke from the 1987 Jeremy Brett version. However, that said, this stylish production deserves unstinting praise for the masterful way in which it skillfully reproduces the macabre spirit of the classic novel."
Solid, but not totally spectacular version
Hazen B Markoe | St. Paul, MN United States | 02/01/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic story featuring Sherlock Holmes offers a fun and solid take on the tale of the Great Detective and his investigation of a deadly family curse. Wonderfully photographed, the film makes great use of the dark settings of the moor. Ian Richardson leads the pack with a sly, puckish take on Sherlock Holmes. It is a wonderful performance that makes one wish that he had filmed more Holmes stories then he did. Denholm Elliott has his amusing moments as the local doctor with a case of absent-mindedness. Unfortunately, the actor playing the faithful Dr. Watson, seems to be too much the Cockney with his gravelly voice. It's frustrating since his character spends much of the time onscreen, while Holmes is offscreen thoughout the middle part of the film. Brian Blessed and Connie Booth (formerly married to John Cleese, and a sometime performer with Monty Python), do well in smaller roles. A decent film, but not the definitive version."
Hazen B Markoe | 04/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is certainly the best version of this classic tale that I've seen. Ian Richardson is superb as Holmes and the other characters are well-acted and believable. There is also some hauntingly good dialogue and an unforgettable soundtrack which adds to the wonderful atmosphere."