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Richard Oswald’s Der Hund von Baskerville, the last silent film starring Sherlock Holmes, has been less a legend than a rumor among cinephiles and Sherlockians. This seven-reel film, with its long pedigree extending back to a German stage play written while Germany was at war with England, has been regarded as the most important of the ‘Hound’ made in Europe. Long considered lost, it was the last silent Sherlock Holmes film ever made, produced when German studios were the envy of the world. Seen here in two versions, one with English titles and one entirely in German with titles based on the original German censor records, Hund lives again accompanied by a new ensemble score from the incomparable Günter Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Sascha Jacobsen.
Starring Carlyle Blackwell Sr. (Sherlock Holmes) and George Seroff (Dr. Watson), this version of Der Hund is a deluxe makeover made during the dying days of the silent era. Much has been refined, but we are still in a world of secret passages behind sliding panels that lead to torture chambers, death traps, and a hiding place for the malodorous hound.
The project to restore and preserve Der Hund von Baskerville is a collaboration between Filmoteka Narodowa and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, overseen by film preservationist Rob Byrne. This exciting rediscovery comes from an original 35mm Czech distribution print, unseen until now from a private collection.