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 »s newly restored version of the classic film includes the period war bond tag and studio logo and credits from its original theatrical release. Filled with ominous shadows and interesting camera angles, the visual beauty of the film in 35mm is stunning. Includes: Sherlock Holmes and The Scarlet Claw Sherlock Holmes and The Spider Woman Sherlock Holmes and The House of Fear Sherlock Holmes and the Pearl of Death« less
Arty Abrams | Summerton, SC United States | 09/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lets be thankful that we are going to soon be treated to restored versions of these classics. I have purchased versions of the Scarlet Claw that were nearly inaudible and blurred. And it has been out of print for some time. So 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!!!!"
Good and Bad News
MARK C. BALE | SWANSEA, WEST GLAM UNITED KINGDOM | 09/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am also waiting with delight at the release of these classics. The bad news is the two 20th Century Fox films (the first films Rathbone/Bruce made as the duo) have not been restored - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES/ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES were not made by Universal and were not part of the restoration project at UCLA. This is why chronologically they are not being released first, as the visual condition of these two titles are not as good as the restored Universal dozen. I don't know if any cleaning/remastering has been done on the two Fox titles though."
Great Restoration Process
MARK C. BALE | 12/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After viewing the films in volume 2 of this collection, I have to say that they did a terrific job in restoring these classics. What makes this volume especially good is the fact that the best of the Rathbone/Bruce series are contained in it. The film The Scarlet Claw is presented the best I have seen it ever. The visuals and audio are extremely crisp and clear. Unfortunately, as in the first volume, the DVD extras could have been better (however, there is an interesting short on how the restoration process was done that I thought was good). That issue aside, I believe that most people will want this collection for the availability of these films for the first time in over 10 years."
As good as you'd hope they'd be
John Gleeson | Barrington, NJ United States | 12/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The UCLA credit on each film reads "Preserved by" which is not quite the same as "Restored by" but the 4 films are as good as
Holmes fans have waited for. Each volume has one film with a commentary by David Stuart Davies. He gives a lot of detail and makes interesting observations but failed to review himself for accuracy. He refers to cameraman George Robinson as Bernard Robinson (a Hammer art director) and actress Kay Harding as having made just The Scarlet Claw, when she appeareded mostly as Jackie Lou Harding - and was also in The Woman In Green.
There are so many experts on the Rathbone series that MPI should have had a commentary for each film instead of the one catch-all for each set.
Nevertheless, you won't buy these for the extras but for the pleasure of seeing all 12 of Universal's Holmes films in such superb condition.
Volume 3 will be released in January and the two Rathbone Fox films in May 2004."
Sherlock Holmes Collection, Vol. 2
Hound Dog | Boise, ID, USA | 10/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all fans of classic mystery films, you should seriously consider investing in this particular set from the 14 original Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce during the 1930's and 1940's. Lovingly restored by UCLA and liberally adapted from the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, there isn't a weak link among the four selected films here.
In "The Spider Woman," Holmes is forced to fake his own demise in order to counter the title character's fiendish plot. Perhaps the best sequence of the film is the circus shooting gallery finale.
In "The Pearl of Death," Holmes and Watson face off with a ruthless serial killer who is intent on recovering a lost jewel by burglarizing the homes of seemingly random victims. Before it is too late, Holmes must realize that he is facing more than one opponent.
Another serial killer is on the loose in "The Scarlet Claw," as Holmes make a rare visit to Canada to attend a convention. In a remote village, a sinister master-of-disguise is at work bumping off a list of unsuspecting victims that he has long sought vengeance on. The mark of death is a gardening tool used as a gruesome claw. I'll note that this particular film is surprisingly violent for the Rathbone series, but it only adds a greater sense of realism to the plot.
Finally, the "House of Fear" may be well the best of the series from the World War II era, as nicely woven humor is added by the befuddled presence of Inspector Lestrade. An insurance company hires Holmes and Watson to look into the bizarre deaths of an exclusive club of recluses known as the "Good Comrades." One by one, the comrades are brutally dispatched by one of their own after they are each left a warning of their impending demise by the receipt of a mysterious packet of orange pips. Holmes, however, is left with too many baffling clues and a narrowing field of suspects. The finale is well worth waiting for.
Of the three available collector's sets, I would recommend starting with this one before making a decision on the other two since all four titles are of a similiarly excellent caliber. I have no doubt that Rathbone and Bruce will likely insure your entertainment for hours to come.