Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear|
Actors: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Aubrey Mather, Dennis Hoey, Paul Cavanagh
Director: Roy William Neill
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
The master detective Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and his faithful cohort Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are back, preserved and digitally restored in 35mm to original condition by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Thi... more »
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Perfect viewing on a dark, stormy night
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 01/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The House of Fear" is a hugely enjoyable Sherlock Holmes film, perhaps the last truly satisying entry in the 12 film Universal series (of which this is number 8, not counting the two unrelated films made by 20th Century Fox).This is a good old fashioned haunted house mystery, the perfect companion for a dark, stormy night. There's nothing supernatural going on, only the all too mundane matter of murder, motivated by greed. There's nothing mundane about the way Holmes and Watson go about solving it though, and director Roy William Neill guides them with his usual brilliance, magically creating an ambiance of suspicion, fear, and mystery in gorgeous black-and-white. The plot resembles Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," the first film version of which was in production when "The House of Fear" was in release, (and the Holmes entry was probably an attempt to steal that film's thunder) but this film is actually superior. After all, it has Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. How can you beat that?"
Frighteningly Good Mystery
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 03/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Movie: ***** _____ DVD Quality: ****1/2 _____ DVD Extras: N/A
A moody, atmospheric entry in the classic Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes series, featuring a corking good mystery with an intriguing "whodunit?" angle. In an old and lavish Scottish mansion, the seven bachelor members of a private club are being brutally maimed and murdered one by one; interestingly, each victim receives an envelope containing orange seeds just before his turn to die. What can it mean? It's up to Holmes and Dr. Watson, with the fumbling assistance of Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade, to unravel the complicated plot. Rathbone and Bruce are in typically fine form as the master sleuth and his faithful foil, and the supporting cast includes wonderfully deft work by Aubrey Mather and Paul Cavanagh as two of the endangered gents. On the distaff side, Sally Shepherd turns in an intriguing performance as a dour housekeeper; and veteran leading actress turned character player Doris Lloyd, always a welcome presence in any film, has a meaty unbilled supporting role as the proprietess of a local tavern. In addition to a fine plot and stellar performances, "The House of Fear" also benefits from outstanding art direction and set decorations, all of which are beautifully captured by Virgil Miller's noirish cinematography.
The MPI video release features a generally excellent video and audio transfer from a 35mm print digitally restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. A couple of early scenes appear overly grainy, but the rest of the transfer is sharp and clear with pleasing contrast (and especially nice graytones in a couple of key outdoor sequences). The soundtrack is remarkably crisp and clean throughout. Overall, highly recommended, and an absolute must-see for Holmes completists.
Boz | 12/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes films. It features a gloomy old Scottish castle, a puzzling series of murders, a long list of suspects, and lots of thunder and lightning. It also has Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. What more could you ask for-a perfect movie to watch on a dark and stormy night!"
One of the Series BEST!
Arty Abrams | Summerton, SC United States | 09/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This selection is one of the Best of the 14 Rathbone and Bruce made. I've seen it countless times and I enjoy it every time. Wonderful feel to the film that will never be duplicated!!!!!
I am writing this pre-review to express my Great Expectations and excitement over the upcoming DVD release of the 14 Sherlock Holmes movies made by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
For those of us who have loved and worn out our VHS versions of these films, I am sure that I speak for many of us in expressing incredible anticipation and near shock that someone has finally recognized the need to release a "restored version" of these timeless classics.
We are told that they have been "Preserved and restored in 35mm by the UCLA Film and Television Archive." This is marvelous and I have already pre-ordered Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 from MPI Home Video.
I so hope that the entire 14 movies, are ultimately released in restored condition. Especially the rarest of them, "The Scarlet Claw" which has rarely been shown on televison and only been available on VHS sporadically.
To me and many others I know, Basil Rathbone is the definative Holmes. Not just because he looks alarmingly similar -as much as is humanly possible- to Sidney Pagets drawings of Holmes from the Strand Magazine illustrations, but mostly we love Rathbone because he portrayed the same Holmes that we as readers get through the buffer of Dr. Watson explaining away not magnifying Holmes' shortcomings.
Jeremy Brett chose to amplify every negative aspect of Holmes' personality that in the written versions Watson explained away. Rathbone's Holmes has been demeaned visciously over the past years and hopefully the respect and dignity that he gave his portrayals will be seen in all their accuracy and glory with these new digitally restored releases. ... these will have to be the best quality versions of these classics ever released...so for all of us who have cursed the incomprehensibly awful releases of these films over the years...our time has almost come. Show your support for this effort by ordering a restored version of American Film Histroy.
Much Thanks to UCLA, MPI, and Whoever was ultimately responsible for the idea of doing this!!!!"