HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Hound of the Baskervilles, The An Absolute Dog
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: ComedyBuy from Amazon
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 2579 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: