The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983 film)

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The Hound of the Baskervilles
Directed by Douglas Hickox
Produced by Otto Plaschkes
Written by Charles Edward Pogue
Based on The Hound of the Baskervilles 
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring Ian Richardson
Donald Churchill
Music by Michael J. Lewis
Cinematography Ronnie Taylor
Release date(s)
  • 1983 (1983)
Running time 101 minutes
Language English

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983) is a British television film directed by Douglas Hickox, starring Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes and Donald Churchill as Dr. John H. Watson. It is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.



In 1982, American producer Sy Weintraub partnered with English producer Otto Plaschkes to make six television films of Sherlock Holmes stories.[1] Charles Edward Pogue was enlisted to pen the screenplays[1] but only The Sign of the Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles were ultimately filmed as Granada Television's Sherlock Holmes series premiered in 1984.[1]

In an interview with Scarlet Street, Ian Richardson explained:

"That was the fly in our ointment. Initially, an unseen fly. You see, when Sy Weintraub was planning the films, he was unaware that the copyright on the Holmes stories was about to expire in England and he had to go through a great deal of legal negotiations with the Conan Doyle estate in order to gain permission to use them. However, he was totally ignorant of Granada's plans to film a series with Jeremy Brett...Weintraub was furious, because he'd paid a lot of money to get permission from the estate and here was Granada saying, 'Thank you - but we're going to do it.' So Weintraub took them to court. He had a very good case, apparently; but eventually there was an out of court settlement for an extraordinary sum of money - something like two million pounds - which was enough for Weintraub to cover his costs on both The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and make a profit, too. And so he wrapped the project up."[1]

A large part of Martin Shaw's American accent was dubbed by another actor in post-production.

Differences from novel[edit]

In the original novel, Brian Blessed's character Geoffrey Lyons never appears.[2] In the film version, Lyons is presented as an imposing suspect who is at one point falsely imprisoned for strangling his wife.[2] Holmes' solution to the case ultimately frees him.[2]

Laura Lyons dies in the film, strangled by the murderer to prevent her from giving him away. She does not die in the novel. Also, while the novel had Stapleton manipulate her by posing as an unmarried man who might marry her if she could secure a divorce, the film has her being romantically linked to Sir Charles himself.

In addition, Stapelton's demise in the bog is included as a part of the film's climax. He attempts to ambush Holmes, Watson and Beryll just after they have found the Hound's lair, but is taken by surprise and chased by Holmes into the moor, where he stumbles into a mud pool and sinks to his doom, despite Holmes' frantic attempts to save him.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]