The Hound of the Baskervilles (1914)

aka Der Hund von Baskerville
Article 4071 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-5-2012
Directed by Rudolf Meinert
Featuring Alwin Neuss, Friedrich Kuhne, Hanni Weisse
Country: Germany
What it is: Holmes adaptation

Sherlock Holmes is called in to solve the mystery of the hound of the Baskervilles.

The storyline on IMDB for this movie claims that it is “faithfully adapted” from the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Either somebody has a very different definition of the word “faithful” than I do, or there’s a very bizarre version of this novel floating around somewhere that I’ve not read. Between the reduction of Watson to little more than a cameo (if anything, he appears more extensively in the novel than Holmes himself does), the fact that our putative menace seems to be one of the friendliest pooches I’ve ever seen, and the fact that the story involves such bizarre plot turns as Stapleton (who is established as the villain early on) disguising himself as Holmes so he can try other methods of assassinating Henry Baskerville, I doubt that anyone would think the novel and the movie are even existing in the same universe, much less their being blood relations. In many ways, it feels much more like a Fantomas story than a Holmes story, only quite a bit sillier. Nevertheless, this version appeared to be quite popular; it yielded at least six sequels. The mind boggles.


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