30 October 2014

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
86 min.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Andre Morell, Marla Landi, David Oxley.
Hammer Film's retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous yarn is a classic in its own right.

When aristocrat Sir Charles Baskerville is mysteriously killed on the moors, his nephew Sir Henry (Lee) comes to Baskerville Hall to claim the family estate.

But was Charles' heart failure a natural death? Or did it have something to do with the age-old legend of the curse of the Baskervilles, a tale of a hound of hell who lives out on the moors and terrorizes the Baskerville family?

Should we be concerned?

Not to worry. Sherlock Holmes (Cushing) is on the case. As he begins an investigation, Holmes' objectives are twofold: to protect Sir Henry's life, and to discover the truth behind this supposed malevolent beast out on the moors. But will he uncover the mystery in time?

Thanks to director Terence Fisher, cinematographer Jack Asher, and set designer Bernard Robinson, the whole thing has some excellent atmosphere on the moors, the interiors drenched in pure luscious color, the mystery tightly wound.

Cushing is superb as Holmes, Lee as the threatened Baskerville. And there's a gorgeous score by James Bernard.

One of Hammer's finest hours.

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