Poor old Nigel Bruce has certainly come in for some criticism over the years for his portrayal of Watson. I think that it’s worth remembering though that the movies weren’t an attempt (like Granada’s) to make a completely faithful representation. They wanted Watson to be a counterbalance to the coldly logical Holmes and saw Bruce as the ideal man for the job. Bruce pretty much played the same character in every film he made. His character actually got more comic after The Hound Of The Baskervilles. The movie company no doubt saw the comic potential of the Rathbone/Bruce double-act.
Confession time: I have never seen a Rathbone/Bruce Holmes movie. Only clips and stills. But I gather that Nigel Bruce plays Watson basically the same as his turn opposite Cary Grant & Joan Fontaine in Suspicion . . . as a genial, dim 'old bean'. Loveable . . but do you really want to rely on him in a crisis? Nigel was a top character actor just taking direction, as actors do . . one wonders if he ever pined to play his Watson as just a tiny bit more intelligent and coordinated.
You surprise me Hikari. If I’d advise any of the Rathbone/Bruce movies I’d go for ‘The Hound’ as I think it’s the best version ever. Then the next movie ‘The Adventures.’ Of The others I’d go for The Scarlet Claw And Terror By Night.
I purchased a Sherlock movie pack featuring the Rathbone/Bruce Hound, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and another . .Without a Clue? . . can't remember. Then my TV died, and I haven't watched those discs yet. Soon, I hope.