Thursday, April 24, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! SHERLOCK HOLMES starring John Barrymore (1922)

Another nize li'l trip to the revival theatre in the privacy of your own living room, and the best thing about it is you don't have to worry about the guy sitting next to you putting his hand on your knee!

It's funny how this one sorta snuck past me throughout my old moom watching days, but at least I've gotten to see it here before a lifetime habit finally takes its toll on my eyes. And what a goodie SHERLOCK HOLMES is...a standard early-twenties silent starring that great profile himself as the master detective in what might seem more like an "origin" story just like they used to have in Marvel Comics. First we first see him as a young man on the trail of his arch enemy Professor Moriarty, trying to help out a young prince accused of stealing a nice steaming sum of money. The scandal as well as the fact the prince is called back to his home country after he's suddenly made ruler puts the kibosh on a planned marriage between him and a local lass named Rose Faulkner. It proves to be too much for the girl that she actually flings herself into a deep crevice during a mountain climbing expedition!

But before that she gave her sis some gooey love letters the prince wrote her, and it seems as if anyone out there wants them it's Professor Moriarty himself! And somehow I don't think its because he likes reading silly romantic prattle either because, frankly, he doesn't seem like that kinda guy. Of course you kinda wonder why Holmes would get involved with a case dealing with something as petty as love letters in the first place, but I guess that has to do with him falling madly in love with sis after she almost ran over him with her horse and cart a few years earlier.

Far from the dud that many modern day viewers peg it as, I find SHERLOCK HOLMES rather entertaining and moodily visual if slow moving. Nothing that I would call a top notch silent effort and kinda snoozeville in spots, but I sat through it w/o any major gripes and maybe you will too.

Barrymore plays it cool as Holmes which in some ways is better'n the caricature the master detective seems to have become since, while Griffith actress Carol Dempster actually comes off sexy and doesn't play up to the camera like some primadonna cousin in a 1962 home movie. Hideously low on the action, but it's still about as engaging as many of those silents that used to pop up on your local PBS station in the seventies on many a humid summer's night. So settle back, enjoy, try to stay awake and I hope you don't perspire so much that you stick to the Naugahyde and make a big brap when you try to get up. 

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