HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Hound of the Baskervilles, The An Absolute DogBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Paul Morrissey
Stars: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Denholm Elliott, Joan Greenwood, Hugh Griffith, Irene Handl, Terry-Thomas, Max Wall, Kenneth Williams, Roy Kinnear, Dana Gillespie, Jessie Matthews, Prunella Scales, Henry Woolf, Spike Milligan, Penelope Keith, Rita Webb
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cook), the world's greatest detective, has been called upon to solve many an unusual case, as today when a group of nuns arrive at the Baker Street address he shares with his companion Dr John Watson (Dudley Moore) and implore them to find a stolen relic before an important religious ceremony can take place. Luckily, Holmes' keen mind noticed precisely who stole the object and sends them away happy, but when another potential client, Dr. Mortimer (Terry-Thomas), turns up claiming a monstrous hound is loose on Dartmoor, Holmes decides he has better things to do.

If only everyone involved had felt the same then we would not have this film as a career low point for both Cook and Moore and the hapless British talent they cast here. The reasons for the production's failure have been well-documented, but essentially it boiled down to one man: director Paul Morrissey, who was brought in for his hip associations with Andy Warhol, but turned out to have a tin ear for comedy, or British comedy at any rate. He was a big fan of the Carry On series and ordered the duo to rework the script under his influence to make it more like those, then additionally to include a bunch of their old sketches.

He felt audiences would want to see material they were familiar with, which explains why there were so many famous faces showing up in supporting roles, especially Kenneth Williams who had been a mainstay of the Carry Ons, and summed up why his style and Cook and Moore's style really were not compatible. The sad thing was the partnership that had been so fruitful before was truly looking forward to recapturing the magic of their first film together, Bedazzled, and they were often mentioning this as their dream project for years before it went before the cameras, so when it was judged as one of the worst British comedies ever made the effect must have been crushing as the bitterness of Derek and Clive and the team's subsequent estrangement was all that was left for their future together.

Funnily enough, the script stuck surprisingly close to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original plot, except that where Holmes pretends to be otherwise engaged on the page all the better to conduct his own clandestine investigations, in this incarnation he really cannot be bothered with the case and we see him in sketches where he visits a massage parlour (run by a seductive Penelope Keith, if you can envisage that) or goes to see his mother (Moore in drag) who is a fake medium for no apparent reason to do with the matter in hand. This leaves Watson to bumble through the sleuthing for the most part, with Moore rabbitting his way through leaden puns and shtick which wouldn't pass muster in the most impoverished music hall.

Still, as a record of well known performers making arses of themselves through no fault of their own, this Hound of the Baskervilles did have a car crash quality about it that made the occasional item of potential amusement stick out like a forlorn lighthouse amid a stormy clutter of gags dying in the air; Watson visiting the Post Office and finding the postmaster is dressed identically to him, except even shorter almost raises a smirk. As it was, Williams was allowed to go way over the top which looked like desperation, and his fellow thesps tried to make something out of very little, but you could discern a dead behind the eyes appearance to many of them. Cook and Moore had tried to salvage the film by recutting it, but Morrissey's damage had been done, making one wish they'd recruited a journeyman director rather than a cult talent whose approach jarred so badly with theirs. When Moore's piano player (he had scored the film himself like a silent movie) is booed and pelted with vegetables at the end, it doesn't seem like a joke at all, but then, neither does much else here.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1123 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: