This week in history 31st March – 5th April

A black and white photograph of Sherlock Homes, watson and Beryl Stapleton look intently through a magnifying glass that Holmes holds towards the floor

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This week marks the 1939 release of of 20th Century Fox’s The Hound of the Baskervilles on March 31st. The Sherlock Holmes adaptation starred Richard Greene as Sir Henry Baskerville, Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson and Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes.

The film was a hit and Rathbone and Bruce wet on to star in a total of 14 films based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective novels. Rathbone and Bruce were also hired to play Holmes and Watson on the radio series “The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”.

In 1975 The Hound of the Baskervilles was resored and re-released to theatres. It was a success and was even covered in the national evening news.

On March 31st 54 years after the release of The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1993, Brandon Bruce Lee was unfortunately killed on set while filming The Crow. 

The 28 year old actor was the son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee and had appeared in a handful of action films. He landed the lead role of Eric Draven in the film adaptation of James O’Barr’s comic book series The Crow. 

Lee died when he was accidentally shot while filming. A revolver containing dummy cartridges created by the props crew was used in a scene. Unintentionally, the percussion primer was left in place on one of these bullets and when the gun was discharged and the bullet unknowingly moved into the barrel.

When this revolver was later fired at Lee from a short distance, the dummy cartridges were replaced with blanks and when these were fired the dummy bullet already in the barrel was fired fatally striking Lee in the abdomen.

Video footage of Lee’s death was used as evidence in the following investigation then later destroyed as part of the lawsuit settlement after the shooting was ruled an accident.

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