- Actors: Dudley Moore, Roy Kinnear, Penelope Keith, Peter Cook, Denholm Elliott
- Directors: Paul Morrissey
- Format: PAL, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Prism Leisure Corporation
- DVD Release Date: 30 Aug. 2004
- Run Time: 73 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00006JY7B
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,057 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Hound Of The Baskervilles  [DVD]
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Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Kenneth Williams "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" as you've never seen it before. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson) give us their unique interpretation of the Conan Doyle classic, supported by an all-star cast of British comedy greats. What is the curse that hangs over the Baskerville family? What is the terrible beast that roams the moor? Exhausted by his most recent case, Holmes sends Watson to Baskerville Hall to solve the mystery on his own while he takes a well deserved rest in London's nightspots. Watson, on his first solo case, investigates the strange goings on at Baskerville Hall and begins to suspect everyone he questioins, including himself, until frustrated at every step, he has to call for the great detective to help him out. Their discovery at Grympen Mire of the real Hound of the Baskervilles is too horrible to tell. Special Features Star Biographies Trailer
It could have been a stroke of genius reuniting Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore in a send-up of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In the event, director Paul Morrissey goes for Carry On-style humour: plenty of coarse word-play and camp innuendo, but little wit or subtlety. Cooke is a rather androgynous Sherlock Holmes, while Moore inexplicably attempts a Welsh accent to portray Dr Watson (his cameo as Holmes' mother is far less contrived). The support cast is a compendium of British comedy acting of the period--all now departed, and clearly relishing the one-liners and musical-hall farce. There are excellent contributions from Max Wall, Joan Greenwood (priceless in the seduction scene), and--in one of his last major screen appearances--Terry Thomas, as well as a winning "madame" from Penelope Keith. Don't expect even a free adaptation of Conan Doyle's novel, just let the humour take its enjoyably silly course.
On the DVD: The Hound of the Baskervilles film reproduces very decently in the 4:3 aspect ratio, with stereo sound that's not too artificial in effect. Special features consist of nine biographical overviews, the re-release trailer, and a six-minute interview with director Morrissey. Die-hard fans of "Pete and Dud" will most welcome the inclusion of the original theatrical feature, playing for almost 80 minutes and featuring extra footage of Moore's wonderfully inept piano playing. --Richard WhitehouseSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
How right he was. The film is a bunch of barely-connected sketches which must have been either poorly directed, shot or edited - probably all three - because you can't get into this film. In the Interview with the Director extra on the DVD, Paul Morrissey, says that he, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook divided the script between them, each writing a third - hence the disjointed nature - and he as good as admits that his directing style was of the make it up as you go along variety.
There is a rubbish take-off of 'The Exorcist' which is out of place, unfunny and a criminal waste of Joan Greenwood.
It is such a crying shame because the film is packed with comedy and serious acting legends. It is wonderful to hear the voices of Terry Thomas, Joan Greenwood and Irene Handl, and to see Denholm Elliott and Kenneth Williams, but it makes me both angry and sad to think of what might have been.
It aspires to the music hall tradition but never rises above playground toilet humour, which wouldn't be a problem if it was funny toilet humour, but the semi-improvised, wildly self-indulgent script veers all over the place (there's even a prolonged Exorcist parody thrown in for no good reason) without hitting many targets, and those it does almost more by accident than design. A few stray jokes do survive the energetic overplaying that sees Cook playing Holmes like a lisping Jewish garment trader who sells it by the yard in what amounts to such an obvious impersonation of Peter Jones you don't know why they didn't save some money and hire him instead while Moore plays Watson as an enthusiastic sputtering imbecile with an accent that veers from the valleys of Wales to the Highlands of Scotland as well as Holmes' domineering fake spiritualist mother who insists on calling him Shirl. Aside from a throwaway gag with Holmes reading Sigmund Freud's `Guilt Without Sex,' there's little of the smart wit or screen chemistry of their classic work here even when they desperately throw in a particularly poor variation of their classic "I've nothing against your right leg - the trouble is, neither do you" `unidexter' sketch. By this time the two had grown to dislike and resent each enough for it to probably be a blessing that the story dictates they spend much of the film separated. Their last fictional feature together, only the self-loathing vitriol of Derek and Clive and the sporadic TV guest spot reunion lay in their joint future.
Thomas and Handl emerge with reputations intact, as does Penelope Keith in her brief turn as a brothel madam, but most of the supporting cast aren't so lucky, with humiliation the order of the day. There's a terrible self-awareness to lines like "These people can scarcely sink any lower," what with an even more over the top than usual Kenneth Williams alternating between bad wig and severe alopetia while poor Joan Greenwood is required to projectile vomit over Watson, having already attempted to rape him: Kind Hearts and Coronets must have seemed such a distant memory. There's a heavy emphasis on the grotesque and the puerile, exemplified one lengthy sequence involving a Chihuahua with a weak bladder peeing all over Watson's face for a whole minute, and it doesn't get much better than that. Only a kind of car crash fascination keeps you viewing. Still, at least Dana Gillespie's astonishing cleavage briefly offers some breathtaking scenery.
Curiously the film exists in two separate cuts on the original UK DVD release, the first the uncut version in non-anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen, the second a re-edited and badly cropped fullframe version that is ten minutes shorter, which at least reduces the time you'll waste watching it, though Ms Gillespie's parts have borne the brunt of the cuts. CDA's DVD also includes an interview with the director and re-edited trailer.