The Hound Of The Baskervilles 1939 — A Mystery / Crime Movie Trailer

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) — A Mystery / Crime Movie Trailer

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate. —J. Spurlin

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Though it takes a few liberties with the Arthur Conan Doyle original, this film ranks as one of the best screen versions of this oft-told tale. After learning the history of the Baskerville curse, Sherlock Holmes decides to protect heir Henry Baskerville from suffering the same fate as his ancestors.

Synopsis: Spoilers?
The first of two of the Twentieth Century-Fox Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies opens with the 20th Century Fox logo and theme, followed by title and credits shown over a panning shot of the moors. That transitions to note, “1889 In all England there is no district more dismal than that vast expanse of primitive wasteland, the moors of Dartmoor in Devonshire.” We see Baskerville Hall, it is late evening and a man runs through the countryside back to the house. A hound bays, and Sir Charles (Ian MacLaren) running, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. A convict (Nigel De Brulier) witnesses the poor man’s demise and decides to rob the body of its valuables but is scared away by a man calling out. Mrs. Barryman (Eily Malyon) opens the door, sees her master dead, and screams. At the coroner’s inquest, Barryman (John Carradine) provides testimony about finding his boss. He relays that he sought the assistance of Dr. Mortimer (Lionel Atwill) who was having dinner with the Stapletons. John Stapleton (Morton Lowry) and his sister, Beryl (Wendy Barrie) are also present at the inquest. The coroner (Lionel Pape) asks Dr. James Mortimer the cause of death. Mortimer replies, “Heart failure, sir.” Before he can expand on his answer to what might be bothering Sir Charles, his wife, Jennifer (Beryl Mercer) signals to her husband not to answer. Mr. Frankland (Barlowe Borland) insists that Sir Charles was murdered. Since Dr. Mortimer is emphatic it was heart failure, the coroner’s verdict is death by natural causes. Frankland is not satisfied. He stands and yells, “Call it what you like. Sir Charles was murdered. There’s more than one person in this room, knows I speak the truth.”

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Plot: Spoilers?
Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. John H. Watson (Nigel Bruce) receive a visit from Dr. James Mortimer (Lionel Atwill), who wishes to consult them before the arrival of Sir Henry Baskerville (Richard Greene), the last of the Baskervilles, heir to the Baskerville estate in Devonshire.

Dr. Mortimer is anxious about letting Sir Henry go to Baskerville Hall, owing to a supposed family curse. He tells Holmes and Watson the legend of the Hound of the Baskervilles, a demonic dog that first killed Sir Hugo Baskerville (Ralph Forbes) several hundred years ago (seen in flashback) and is believed to kill all Baskervilles in the region of Devonshire.

Holmes dismisses it as a fairy tale, but Mortimer narrates the events of the recent death of his best friend, Sir Charles Baskerville, Sir Henry’s uncle. Although he was found dead in his garden without any trace of physical damage, Sir Charles’s face was distorted as if he died in utter terror, from heart failure. He alone had noticed footprints at some distance from the body when it was found; they were the paw marks of a gigantic hound.

Holmes decides to send Watson to Baskerville Hall along with Sir Henry, claiming that he is too busy to accompany them himself. Sir Henry quickly develops a romantic interest in Beryl Stapleton (Wendy Barrie), the step-sister of his neighbor Jack Stapleton (Morton Lowry), a local naturalist. Meanwhile, a homicidal maniac (Nigel De Brulier), escaped from Dartmoor Prison, lurks on the moor.

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