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Murder at the Baskervilles (1937)

Silver Blaze (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Mystery | 15 January 1941 (USA)
Sherlock Holmes takes a vacation and visits his old friend Sir Henry Baskerville. His vacation ends when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a double-murder mystery. Now he's got to ... See full summary »

Director:

Thomas Bentley

Writer:

Arthur Conan Doyle (story "Silver Blaze") (as A. Conan Doyle)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Wontner ... Sherlock Holmes
Ian Fleming ... Dr. Watson
Lyn Harding ... Prof. Moriarty
John Turnbull ... Inspector Lestrade
Robert Horton Robert Horton ... Col. Ross
Lawrence Grossmith Lawrence Grossmith ... Sir Henry Baskerville
Judy Gunn Judy Gunn ... Diana Baskerville
Arthur Macrae Arthur Macrae ... Jack Trevor
Arthur Goullet Arthur Goullet ... Col. Sebastian Moran
Martin Walker Martin Walker ... James Straker
Eve Gray Eve Gray ... Mrs. Mary Straker
Gilbert Davis Gilbert Davis ... Miles Stanford
Minnie Rayner ... Mrs. Hudson
D.J. Williams D.J. Williams ... Silas Brown
Ralph Truman ... Bert Prince
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes takes a vacation and visits his old friend Sir Henry Baskerville. His vacation ends when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a double-murder mystery. Now he's got to find Professor Moriarty and the horse Silver Blaze before the great cup final horse race. Written by Ivar Agøy <ivara@colargol.tihlde.hist.no>

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Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in the UK in 1937 with the original title "Silver Blaze". This film was not released in the USA until 1941, where the title was changed to "Murder at the Baskervilles" by the distributor Astor Pictures to take advantage of the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939). See more »

Goofs

The horses change direction during the race. When the race starts the horses are running clockwise around the track. But they finish the race running counter clockwise. And during the race the direction they're running switches back and forth. And it's not camera angles. Watching the background shows that we are seeing clips from races run in different directions. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: [to Inspector Lestrade] We're old friends. I should hate to see you make such an ass of yourself as wrongfully to arrest the future son-in-law of Sir Henry Baskerville.
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Alternate Versions

Released in the USA in 1941 in a 65 minute version entitled "Murder At The Baskervilles". See more »

Connections

Version of Elementary (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Spring Garden
(uncredited)
Music by Alex Roloff
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Death at the races
30 April 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and get a lot of enjoyment out of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Also love Basil Rathbone's and especially Jeremy Brett's interpretations to death. So would naturally see any Sherlock Holmes adaptation that comes my way, regardless of its reception.

Furthermore, interest in seeing early films based on Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and wanting to see as many adaptations of any Sherlock Holmes stories as possible sparked my interest in seeing 'Silver Blaze', part (the last in fact) of the series of film with Arthur Wontner. Would also see anything that has Holmes encountering his arch-nemesis Professor Moriaty.

'Silver Blaze', not just a straight adaptation of just this particular story, but with elements of other Holmes stories (with the interesting inclusion of Moriaty and the Baskervilles) too, is very much worthwhile. Not one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations certainly, the best of the Jeremy Brett adaptations and films of Basil Rathone fit under this category. It's also not among the worst, being much better than any of the Matt Frewer films (particularly 'The Sign of Four') and the abominable Peter Cook 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.

It's not perfect. The sound quality is less than great, while some of the pace could have been tighter, especially at the start as it does take too long to get going.

Some of the dialogue unnecessarily rambles a bit in a particularly talky outing in the Wontner Holmes films, and the low budget limitations do show in the production values (other than some nice shots the film looks pretty cheap, the cheapest looking of the Wontner Holmes films).

However, there are some nice interesting shots that stop the film from looking completely cheap. The writing generally is thought-provoking, Holmes' deductions and crime solving are a huge part of the fun as well as very true in detail and spirit to Conan Doyle's writing, the mystery elements are intact, there are moments of suspense and the story is intriguing and not hard to follow.

Arthur Wontner may technically have been too old for Holmes but he did not look too old and his portrayal is on the money, handling the personality and mannerisms of the character spot on without over-doing or under-playing. Ian Fleming is a charming, loyal, intelligent and amusing Watson, with nice chemistry between him and Wontner, really liked his inferior attempts at deduction. The support is competent without being outstanding or as memorable, Lyn Harding's Moriaty comes off best.

Overall, worth watching and decently solid if not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder at the Baskervilles See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Visatone Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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