Combustible Celluloid
Own it:
With: Carlyle Blackwell, Alexander Murski, Livio Pavanelli, George Seroff, Betty Bird, Fritz Rasp, Valy Arnheim, Alma Taylor, Carla Bartheel, Jaro Fürth, Robert Garrison
Written by: Herbert Juttke, Georg C. Klaren, based on a novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by: Richard Oswald
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 66
Date: 08/28/1929

Der Hund von Baskerville (1929)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hound for Glory

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Flicker Alley and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival have helped restore this essential item for Arthur Conan Doyle fans, a German adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, made in 1929 and initially thought to be lost. Directed by Richard Oswald and running 66 minutes, I found the story a teensy bit rough to follow. I confess it had been ages since I'd read the book or seen any other movie versions, and this movie's collection of similar-looking actors confused me a little; not to mention that it was fairly easy to spot the bad guy. But a little preparation and a second viewing could be the cure. Nevertheless, the movie is delightfully atmospheric, with sublime camera moves through the creepy Baskerville Hall and the surrounding moors. And Carlyle Blackwell and George Seroff make a wonderful Holmes and Watson. All in all, it could be the best silent version of Holmes I've yet seen, miles ahead of the dull John Barrymore version, Sherlock Holmes (1922). Flicker Alley's release is a deluxe combo pack containing a Blu-ray and a DVD, and the Blu-ray comes with an incredible bonus: a 65-minute earlier version, made in 1914 by the same director. There are two short featurettes, a fascinating one on Doyle himself, and another on the restoration process. A detailed, 24-page liner notes booklet is also included.

Movies Unlimtied