The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978 film)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Hound of the Baskervilles


image_size =
caption =
director = Paul Morrissey
producer = John Goldstone
writer = Arthur Conan Doyle (novel)
Peter Cook, Dudley Moore & Paul Morrissey (screenplay)
narrator =
starring = Peter Cook
Dudley Moore
music = Dudley Moore
cinematography = Dick Bush
John Wilcox
editing =
distributor =
released = October 1978
runtime =
country = UK
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:23309
imdb_id = 0076161

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1978 British comedy film spoofing "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It starred Peter Cook as Sherlock Holmes and Dudley Moore as Dr. Watson. A number of other well-known British comedy actors appeared in the film including Terry-Thomas, Kenneth Williams and Denholm Elliot.

Plot

The film begins in a Theatre, where a Pianist (Moore) begins to play a piano accompaniment to the actual film being shown in the Theatre.

Holmes (Cook) has just restored a stolen artifact to three French nuns, and is later called on a case by Dr. Mortimer (Terry-Thomas) concerning Sir Henry Baskerville (Kenneth Williams) and a legendary hound that curses the Baskerville estate. Tired and worn out by so many cases, Holmes passes the case onto Dr. Watson (Moore), who is portrayed as a Welsh eccentric.

Upon arriving at the station, Sir Henry, Dr. Mortimer, Watson and Percival (their driver) are halted by a policeman (Spike Milligan), who warns them of a murderer stalking the moors, before sending the group on their way.

The Barrymores at Baskerville Hall mistreat Sir Henry and Watson, feeding them only cheese and water and then throwing them into a small bedroom, ankle-deep in water. Watson then goes to the village to send a message to Holmes (who is during this time visiting his cranky mother), and meets Mr. Stapleton of Merripit Hall. Stapleton is carrying a chihuahua that proceeds to urinate in Watson's pocket and face.

Arriving at Merripit Hall, Watson meets the eccentric Mrs. Stapleton, who displays surreal symptoms in an Exorcist-style manner. Afterward, Holmes arrives and examines the case so far. An invitation arrives for Sir Henry, asking him to dinner at Merripit Hall. Suspecting a trap, Watson goes along with Sir Henry while Holmes observes carefully. Mrs. Stapleton resumes her bizarre acts and begins to vomit pale-blue liquid over Sir Henry, whilst Mr. Stapleton's chihuahua urinates in Watson's soup.

Ordered to leave in disgrace, the Stapletons, Dr. Mortimer and the murderer mentioned at the beginning of the film follow Sir Henry and Watson to kill them, but become trapped in a Quagmire. Holmes then proceeds to reveal that the Hound is no more than a dog owned by the Baskerville estate, whose excited barking was misinterpreted as a monstrous beast.

The film ends on the Pianist, who is then hit by vegetables from the audience.

Reaction

Despite having a cast of well-respected actors and keeping faithful to the mysterious feel of the story, many were put off by the excessive use of gross-out humour. The running gag of dog urine was of considerable upset to many. The IMDB currently (August 2007) rates the film with 4.6 stars out of 10.

Cast

* Peter Cook – Sherlock Holmes
* Dudley Moore – Doctor Watson / Mr. Spiggot / Mrs. Ada Holmes / Piano Player
* Denholm Elliott – Stapleton
* Joan Greenwood – Beryl Stapleton
* Hugh Griffith – Frankland
* Irene Handl – Mrs. Barrymore
* Terry-Thomas – Dr. Mortimer
* Max Wall – Arthur Barrymore
* Kenneth Williams – Sir Henry Baskerville
* Roy Kinnear – Ethel Seldon
* Dana Gillespie – Mary Frankland
* Lucy Griffiths – Iris
* Penelope Keith – Massage Parlor Receptionist
* Jessie Matthews – Mrs. Tinsdale
* Prunella Scales – Glynis
* Josephine Tewson – Nun
* Rita Webb – Elder masseuse
* Henry Woolf – Shopkeeper
* Spike Milligan – Policeman


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