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Erin Clark

English B1

December 4, 2013

Sherlock goes to the Theater

From book to movie The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic mystery with action, adventure, and betrayal. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyles novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes is a round character whose progression is caused by the horrendous scheme against Sir Henry Baskerville that requires Holmes to change in order to save a mans life. The Hound of the Baskervilles discovers Sherlocks advancement as a character from harsh to courteous, from levelheaded to superstitious, from one who observes to one who contributes through a series of life threatening events as the plot of the hound comes to life. Mrs. Stapleton plays a very important part in not only Mr. Stapletons plot but also Sir Arthur Conan Doyles. However, in the movie the director made some choices in Mrs. Stapletons fate to create more suspense and mystery. Sir Conan Doyle has her bound but alive, In a minute [Holmes & Watson] had torn off the gag, unswathed the bonds, and Mrs. Stapleton sank upon the floor in front of [Holmes & Watson]. As [Mrs. Stapletons] beautiful head fell upon her chest [Watson] saw the clear red weal of a whiplash across her neck (205). Unfortunately, the movie director of the movie, David Attwood, has Mr. Stapleton hang her as an added plot twist. While Mrs. Stapletons fate is still in the fog, Mrs. Laura Lyons fate is transparent. In the book she is important enough to have Holmes pay a visit, I [Holmes] am investigating the circumstances which attended the death of the late Sir Charles Baskerville, my friend here, Dr. Watson, has informed me of what you have communicated, and also of what you have withheld in connection with that matter (191-192). Meaning Holmes need her input in order to solve the case. However, Mrs. Lyons is not pictured in the movie at all.

Sir Henry, like Mrs. Lyons, is wrongly pictured in the movie. Sir Henry, in the book, is not supposed to be hurt at all, when [Holmes & Watson] saw that there was no sign of a wound [on Sir Henry] (202). Yet in the movie Sir Henry is depicted as to being gruesomely attacked by the hound of the Baskervilles which was set upon him by none other than Stapleton himself. Although Stapleton is the criminal mind behind the scheme in the movie and the book, his demise is different in each. In the book the moor quicksand like terrain got the best of him, Stapleton never reached that island of refugedown in the foul slime of the huge morass which had sucked him in, this cold and cruel hearted man is forever buried (209). In contrast while fleeing in the movie, Holmes, gets sucked down instead but not completely. Stapleton tells him to distribute his weight evenly, but with gun in hand; Stapleton was going to kill Holmes. But this time, on the big screen, Watson is the hero shooting Stapleton before Holmes is killed. Watson then saves Holmes from the muck with his jacket which is completely untrue in means of what happened in the book. In retrospect, David Attwood did an incredible job adapting the story to fit the big screen. However, the movie is by no means a substitute for the book because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has many clues and secrets embedded into the plot that make the story so indescribably amazing. But, the disappointment with the movie is nit-picky but as stated above some very crucial elements were left out. Leaving the movie as a work half completed.

References Attwood, David, dir. The Hound of the Baskervilles. British Broadcasting Corporation, 2002. Film. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1959. Print.