Movie Review: Murder at the Baskervilles (1937)

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are invited to take a holiday at Sir Henry Baskerville's estate so they can meet Baskerville's soon-to-be-married daughter and watch his horse, Silver Blaze, race. However, the vacation is ruined when two of Baskerville's employees are found murdered and Silver Blaze is stolen.

Who's in it? The movie stars Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, Lyn Harding, John Turnbull and Judy Gunn.

Review: My allergies were bothering me last night and, unable to sleep as a result, I ended up back on the couch in search of a movie to watch while my allergy pill kicked in. Even though I rarely watch Sherlock Holmes movies that don't star Basil Rathbone, I thought this one sounded interesting and gave it a try. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I was hoping.

I think the best way to describe this movie is it is a 30-minute-long story that is stretched out to fill an hour-long screen time. The mystery itself is a bit too simple, even if it wasn't Holmes (Wontner) solving it. It took him only a few minutes to figure out where the horse was and not much longer to figure out who was responsible for the murders. The rest of the film was filler.

This is especially true of the subplot with Professor Moriarity (Harding). Look, I like Holmes' nemesis as much as the next guy but that doesn't mean he needs to be in every single story. And, in this particular case, he really didn't seem to be even remotely necessary. Maybe he would have been more entertaining had the film kept him a secret until the very end, rather than ramming him down my throat from the very beginning?

The other thing this movie lacked was any sort of suspense. Since the movie wastes no time revealing what happened to the horse, that part of the story was somewhat predictable from that moment on, even with the last-ditched attempt to add a bit of drama with one last attempted murder. To be fair, it might have been better than I thought at the time but, by that point, I had lost interest in what had been a dragged out storyline and no longer cared as long as it was over.

Final Opinion: The plot sounds interesting but isn't enough to carry a full-length film without a lot of filler and, as a result, this movie just wasn't as good as I thought it would be.

My Grade: C


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