The Hound of the Baskervilles
June Wyndham-Davies, Michael Cox (executive) for Granada Television/ITV
directed by Brian Mills
starring Jeremy Brett, Edward Hardwicke, Kristoffer Tabori, Alastair Duncan, Ronald Pickup, Rosemary McHale, James Faulkner, Fiona Gillies, Raymond Adamson, Edward Romfourt, Philip Dettmer, Stephen Tomlin, Bernard Horsfall, Don McKillop, William Ilkley, Myrtle Devenish, Elizabeth Spender, Donald Bisset
screenplay by T.R. Bowen, based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, music by Patrick Gowers
Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett), Hound of the Baskervilles
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Up in Dartmoor, Sir Charles Baskerville (Raymond Adamson) has died,
apparently from shock after being attacked by a hound that is part of the
family curse. So his friend Doctor Mortimer (Alistair Duncan), who has
taken the responsibility of seeing Sir Charles's heir Sir Henry
Baskerville (Kristoffer Tabori) to his family home, pays a visit to
Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) for advice. Holmes is interested in the
case, especially after he learns that one of Baskerville's boots was
stolen, but he refuses to immediately get involved himself and instead
sends his assistant Watson (Edward Hardwicke) along with Sir Henry for
Watson and Sir Henry soon pick up investigations concerning
the strange goings-on in the moor, but first they only track down the
homicidal brother of Sir Henry's maid (Rosemary McHale), who is soon
killed by a big hound, then Sir Henry falls in love with Beryl (Fiona
Gillies), the sister of his neighbour Stapleton (James Faulkner), who is a
bit too protective about his sister.
Eventually, Holmes does show up,
and it turns out he has hidden out in the moor all these days to look over
Watson and Sir Henry, and Holmes is quick to pinpoint Stapleton as the
murderer, as he is a distant relative of the Baskervilles after Sir
Henry's inheritance, but once he has revealed that to Watson, he decides
to go back to London instead of guarding Sir Henry, just on the day when
Sir Henry is supposed to dine at Stapleton's with him and his sister,
who's actually his wife ...
On his way home, after dinner at the
Stapletons, Sir Henry is attacked by the hound, but of course Holmes and
Watson's departure was only a pretense, and they save him, then save his
wife from his violent clutches, as she had long opposed his ways and
fallen in love with Sir Henry. Stapleton in the meantime dies in the moor,
Asm adaptations of Hound of the
Baskervilles go, this one is ok, but not great: Problem is, it gives
away it's villain way too soon, features almost no red herrings to draw
suspicion from Stapleton, and simply lacks tension for a long stretch in
the middle of the movie. On top of that, the horror atmosphere the
source material is strongly suggesting is sadly missing here.
said though, the film isn't at all a disaster, the castmembers all give
fine performances and some beautiful shots of the moors are caught on
camera - you just don't get drawn into the story enough to really care,