2 April 2014 | utgard14
"Murder, my dear Watson. Refined, cold-blooded murder."
Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) must protect the heir to a wealthy estate, Sir Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene, who oddly receives top billing). A family legend states that a demonic hound kills all Baskerville men because of something one of their ancestors did. The first Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film. One of two Sherlock films made by 20th Century Fox in 1939 before the series found its home at Universal, with Holmes updated to the present day.
Basil Rathbone is excellent in what would become his career-defining role. To me, Basil Rathbone IS Sherlock Holmes. I know the books have a rabid following and from my experiences with some of these devotees, they don't care much for the Rathbone films. Such is their loss. One of the primary complaints from the book fans is Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Watson. Apparently they feel he's a bumbling cartoon of a character. I can't agree with that. Bruce's Watson is a loyal, brave, warm, decent man. That he is used sometimes to bring levity to the otherwise serious tone of the films is hardly a bad thing, in my opinion. If you want to see a detective series with a truly buffoonish comic relief sidekick, I can recommend plenty.
A wonderful supporting cast backing up Rathbone and Bruce that includes Lionel Atwill, John Carradine, Wendy Barrie, Barlowe Borland, and E.E. Clive. Nice direction, great atmosphere and sets. Love the foggy moor. A good start to a wonderful series.