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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) #FilmReview #BriFri

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) #FilmReview #BriFriWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish - reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I learned about what happened to The Crystal Palace after the end of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Tina returned to give us the review of Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly after providing us a teaser a couple of weeks ago.

The Hound of the Baskervilles from 1939 was the first of fourteen films that starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.

With a classic story, like this, it's hard to remember which versions I've seen.

I remember reading The Hound of the Baskervilles about twenty-five years ago (in my early 30s) since I somehow missed reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories when I was younger.

I know I've seen Rathbone and Bruce in these roles, but I can't be sure if it was this film or another. I probably saw Jeremy Brett play Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles - I certainly saw many other episodes of the series that ran on ITV from 1984 to 1994 and was rebroadcast in the US on PBS.

More recently, of course, I saw how this story was handled in Sherlock, the modern take on this character with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. I delighted in the references to the original story that peppered the new version in off-kilter and unexpected ways.

The 1939 version is more evocative of Golden Age Hollywood than England.

The costumes and architecture work as passably Victorian and English.

The landscape looks like a Western with fog. They presumably filmed it in California.

The acting and cinematography pull me right into the mood of black and white films of that era like The Thin Man films or Stella Dallas. Not a bad thing, of course, but an entirely different mood than I get from most things I enjoy for British Isles Friday.

What are your experiences with The Hound of the Baskervilles?

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) #FilmReview #BriFri

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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