In a Facebook posting about the Gillette to Brett IV conference this September, the estimable Steven Doyle called Basil Rathbone’s Hound of the Baskervilles “arguably the greatest Sherlock Holmes film ever made.”
Given that – if memory serves me right – The Hound is the most filmed novel ever, with about 150 versions, the reason for the adverb “arguably” is understandable. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s at least the best Sherlock Holmes film that I’ve ever seen.
One of the (multiple!) highlights of G2B4 will be the 75th anniversary showing of the movie, in which Rathbone and Nigel launched their iconic roles of Holmes and Watson. (Note that Richard Greene gets top billing on the poster!) If you haven't seen the movie in a while, the perfect time to see it again is on the big screen at G2B4.
Unlike the last 12 Rathbone-Bruce flicks, The Hound and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were set in period. And Bruce’s Watson is not nearly the dolt that he appears later.
Also on the plus side is the good script: While not slavishly faithful to the novel (the séance scene comes readily to mind) it is more faithful to the source material than many other attempts. The fact that it was filmed in black and white adds nicely to the haunting mood.
But what do you think? Was it best Holmes movie or not?