Murder at the Baskervilles (1937)

     Arthur Wontner is arguably the best film portrayer of Sherlock Holmes.  His fifth and final outing as Holmes in Murder at the Baskervilles (1937).  The film was released in the United Kingdom in 1937 but was not released in America until January 15, 1941.  Wontner was excellent as usual but Murder at the Baskervilles is the weakest offering in the series.


Arthur Wontner in Still from The Sleeping Cardinal

     The film is loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of the Silver Blaze.  Twentieth-Century Fox adapted the same story for the Charlie Chan series in Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936).  In this film, Sherlock Holmes is attempting to prevent Professor Moriarity and Colonel Sebastian Moran from interfering with the result of a race.

     Professor Moriarity and Colonel Moran have secured a hideout in the heart of London.  A racing man pays Moriarity “a consideration” to eliminate the favorite “Silver Blaze” from a horse race in the country.

     Complicating Professor Moriarity’s scheme is Sherlock Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s visit to their old friend Sir Henry Baskerville.  Holmes is catching up with Sir Henry twenty years after the incident in the Doyle story “The Hounds of the Baskervilles”.

     Holmes assists Inspector Lestrade with the case after two men are murdered and “Silver Blaze” disappears.  Holmes must solve the disappearance of “Silver Blaze”, the murder of the two men and save his old friend Dr. Watson from Professor Moriarity.

     This film is fairly short at 64 minutes.  A few good copies of Murder at the Baskervilles (1937) are available on YouTube but the best print is available on the free version of Hulu.

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