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The Hound of the Baskervilles

UK 1977
produced by
John Goldstone, Andrew Braunsberg (executive), Michael White (executive) for Michael White Productions
directed by Paul Morrissey
starring Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Denholm Elliott, Hugh Griffith, Irene Handl, Terry-Thomas, Max Wall, Kenneth Williams, Roy Kinnear, Dana Gillespie, Lucy Griffiths, Penelope Keith, Jessie Matthews, Prunella Scales, Josephine Tewson, Rita Webb, Henry Woolf, Spike Milligan, Mollie Maureen, Helena McCarthy, Geoffrey Moon, Vivian Neves, Jacquie Stevens, Anna Wing, Ava Cadell
screenplay by Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Paul Morrissey, based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, music by Dudley Moore

Sherlock Holmes, Hound of the Baskervilles

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After the death of Sir Charles Baskerville - allegedly he was frightened to death by the legendary Hound of the Baskervilles -, Doctor Mortimer (Terry-Thomas) fears for the life of his nephew and sole heir, Sir Henry (Kenneth Williams) and thus calls upon Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cook) for help - but Holmes refuses his services, instead sends his associate Doctor Watson (Dudley Moore) to Dartmoor to guard Sir Henry and undertake some investigations. Watson seems to be decidedly unfit for detective work, but even he manages to come up with a heap of suspects, insluding the Barrymores (Max Wall, Irene Handl), servants to the Baskerville estate, who house an escaped convict, Baskerville's neighbours the Stapletons (Denholm Elliott, Joan Greenwood) and the Franklands (Hugh Griffith, Dana Gillespie), who are caught up in some neighbourly dispute that also involves chihuahuas, and even Mortimer himself.

It falls upon Sherlock Holmes - who does eventually agree to come - to solve the case though: It was the Stapletone, the Franklands and Doc Mortimer who have conspired to frighten Sir Henry to death by telling him tales about the ferocious Hound of the Baskervilles - who actually was Sir Charles' closest friend. And when in the finale the hound does attack Sir Henry, it is out of affection, and Sir Henry (naturally) stays alive. But somehow Holmes manages for all the baddies to sink into the swamp ... case solved.

Spike Milligan by the way has a small part as village policeman.

 

Paul Morrissey was known as the house director of Andy Warhol's factory and later as director of two quite graphic but pretty funny horror comedies, Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula. When he tried his hands on Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles though, the outcome was less than thrilling: It's a comedy that seriously lacks subtlety, instead it is destroyed by bad overacting by Peter Cook and especially Dudley Moore, turning in one of his worst performances. And the comedy of Kenneth Williams of Carry On-fame is not to everyone's taste either. An extended parody on The Exorcist, which seems to be totally out of place in this film, as well as an unnecessary and at best mildly amusing subplot about Holmes' psychic mum (also Dudley Moore) don't help one bit either.

It's a really bad film with little to go for it, which is a pity, concerning all the talent involved.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD