As I was writing this review the sad news came in of the death of one of its stars the great Christopher Lee. In this film, he got one of his first leading man roles in The Hound of the Baskervilles and was for a change not playing the monster like he did in Curse Of Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula.
Rising up out of the swirling mists of Dartmoor, Baskerville Hall stands tall and gloomy. Its occupant, Charles Baskerville, has been found dead in mysterious circumstances. Could Sir Charles have been the victim of the so-called Baskerville Curse, which tells of a deadly beast that stalks the surrounding countryside? Unperturbed by the legend, next-in-line Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee) sets out to Dartmoor to assume inheritance of the family estate, under the auspices of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and right-hand man Dr Watson (Andre Morell).
Sherlock Holmes has been on screen many times, in the past and the present, but Peter Cushing gives a fabulous performance here as the super sleuth under the direction of Terence Fisher. Andre Morell is also excellent as Dr Watson giving him a role almost like a real partner, not some bumbling assistant as the character had been portrayed in previous films. The film is all gothic atmosphere as opposed to all-out horror, in fact, the film gained an A certificate in the UK while Hammer themselves were hoping for an X!
The beastly hound itself is poorly done, just a big dog with a mask but overall its great to watch Lee and Cushing together again and although the ending is a bit abrupt and disappointing this is an altogether great Hammer offering.
The Blu ray released by Arrow has a very good 1080p picture framed at 1:66-1, with great depth and good colour reproduction. Close-ups are good and although Arrow had to use the master MGM gave them they have still done a fine job with the presentation. Audio is clear with no distortion in fact for mono it sounds very good. Extras are again what Arrow are known for and with this release, you get the following:
- New Audio Commentary with Hammer experts Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby
- Brand new interview with hound mask creator Margaret Robinson
- Brand new interview with assistant director Hugh Harlow
- Andre Morell: Best of British A featurette looking at the late great actor Andre Morell and his work with Hammer.
- The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes a 1986 documentary looking at the many incarnations of Conan Doyle s celebrated character, narrated and presented by Christopher Lee
- Actor s Notebook: Christopher Lee an archive interview in the which the actor recalls his experiences of making The Hound of the Baskervilles
- The Hounds of the Baskervilles Excerpts read by Christopher Lee
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
- Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Hammer archivist Robert J.E. Simpson illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
Hammer fans should be very happy with this release, another winner from Arrow. REGION B LOCKED.
FILM: 7 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 8