Sherlock Holmes:Complete Collection Blu-Ray
While these films deserve the blu-ray treatment, I was disappointed in the restoration of most of these films.
All of these films feature Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as the comedic Dr. Watson, who started out with two films in the early 40’s made by Fox. Both of these films, “The Hound Of The Baskervilles” and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” are included in this set and it states on the back cover that these titles have not been restored. However, the film series most viewers will be familiar with have been restored a few years ago at UCLA and the higher resolution brings out many flaws from the original nitrates. A lot of films scenes are dark and film grain is most prominent in a lot of the scenes. I can live with that natural “film grain as this is what audiences probably saw in theaters. While the films have been cleaned up from dust and tears as much as possible, I found it irritating as hell that they didn’t clean up the introductory title scene which is used in every one of the series films. A large film “fuzzy” is very visible in the lower left corner as Holmes and Watson’s faces show through the fog and the titles role.
The blu-ray set itself comes in a nice booklet with five discs: Here are the titles of all the films in the set:
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes and the Voices of Terror
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Sherlock Holmes in Washington
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
The Spider Woman
The Scarlet Claw
The Pearl of Death
The House of Fear
The Woman in Green
Pursuit to Algiers
Terror by Night
Dressed to Kill
All these films are great to watch over and over; I never tire of them. Some are War based and Rathbone’s Holmes is fighting the Nazis and the scripts obviously were co-written by the war department as good entertaining propaganda. Others are taken from original Conan Doyle stories and adapted for film. Most are a little over an hour in length with the exception of the two Fox titles.
Extras included are everything from the dvd set, including 6 commentaries from film historians and a conversation with UCLA preservationists who worked on restoration.
While I can say this is probably the best you’ll ever see Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes series, it is by far from perfect, as the originals were just too damaged to restore successfully. Blu-ray, while bringing out the original “film look”, also brings out the flaws more in some cases. If you have the dvd set already, I would not recommend upgrading to blu-ray as the set does not add any extra value to the collection other than the higher resolution picture, flaws and all.
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