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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Thriller > Detective > Murder > Monster > Literature > British > The Hound Of The Baskervilles (1959/Hammer/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)

The Hound Of The Baskervilles (1959/Hammer/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Film: A

PLEASE NOTE: This Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below.

While modern audiences link the image of the character of Sherlock Holmes to actors Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr., my favorite incarnation of the character is in this film played by the late and great Peter Cushing, an actor who was a huge fan of the character himself and brought his fandom to his role in perfecting it in a way that best represents the novel.

Twilight Time brings us this incredible Hammer production of Terence Fisher's 1959 masterwork The Hound of The Baskervilles, based on the novel by Sir Arthur Cohan Doyle and starring Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, Andre Morell as Watson, and a young, devious Christopher Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville, who would famously play Sherlock Holmes himself some years later in the black and white feature, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace. Even Cushing himself reprised his role as Holmes in a 16-episode BBC series in the 1960's. Another cool fact about this film is that it was the first Sherlock tale filmed in glorious color.

This isn't Hounds first time on Blu-ray as there is another edition out there that rivals this one put out by Arrow Releasing overseas in the UK. While I don't own the Arrow version, I want to now that I see there are some extras in that release that didn't get carted over to this, though several of the features seem to be the same. This edition features new commentary tracks and a few other goodies that aren't.

It seems that the Baskerville family has been cursed by a monstrous half dog/half wolf known as ''The Hound''. Ever since a young woman was murdered by a Baskerville many years prior, the curse has keep a harsh grip on the family. When another Baskerville dies in the same location, its up to Sherlock Holmes (Cushing) and Watson (Morell) to unravel the case while dealing with a suspicious new member of the Baskerville family, Sir Henry (Lee), the heir to the Baskerville estate, who will also fall prey to the evil hound's curse if something isn't done soon... or is he the one orchestrating these murders? Naturally, Holmes and his partner set out to investigate and unravel the clues.

Terence Fisher (Horror of Dracula) is one of my all time favorite directors and perfectly presents the story under a luscious gothic lens and high production design that really shines on Blu-ray disc as opposed to previous releases. It's a shame that Hammer didn't make more Sherlock tales (a Cushing series was briefly considered), but it's easy to see how they could have been distracted by their horror successes. If you aren't familiar with the look and feel of a Hammer film, it can be more modernly compared to Tim Burton's 1999 reimagining of Sleepy Hollow. Victorian gothic sets, fog covered streets, period attire, and a theatrical feel as if you were watching a stage play.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.66:1 widescreen aspect ratio that preserves the original Technicolor presentation with some flaws you can see on larger HDTV set-ups and a restored, lossless English 1.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono would make Mr. Terence Fisher proud if he were still with us today.

Extras on this highly collectible set include...

Isolated Music & Effects Track

Audio Commentary #1 with Film Historians David Del Valle and Steven Peros

Audio Commentary #2 with Film Historians Paul Scrabo, Lee Pfeiffer, and Hank Reineke

Actor's Notebook: Christopher Lee

Hound Mask Creator Margaret Robinson on The Hound of the Baskervilles

Christopher Lee Reads Excerpts from The Hound of the Baskervilles novel

Collectible insert booklet with another excellent Julie Kirgo essay

Original Theatrical Trailer

To order this limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:




- James Lockhart



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