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With: John Barrymore, Roland Young, Carol Dempster, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Louis Wolheim, Percy Knight, William Powell, Hedda Hopper, Peggy Bayfield, Margaret Kemp, Anders Randolf, Robert Schable, Reginald Denny, David Torrence, Robert Fischer, Lumsden Hare, Jerry Devine, John Willard
Written by: Earle Browne, Marion Fairfax, based on a play by William Gillette, and stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by: Albert Parker
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 85
Date: 03/07/1922

Sherlock Holmes (1922)

2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

John Barrymore makes a perfect Sherlock Holmes, and you can see some the mannerisms he developed living on in later portrayals by Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett. Unfortunately, this film, which was directed by Albert Parker and adapted from a play, is certain to disappoint any real Holmes fans out there. It's a kind of origin story, in which Holmes meets his nemesis Moriarty (Gustav von Seyffertitz) and decides to devote himself to defeating him. There's also a misplaced romance (!) for the intrepid detective. The highly convoluted plot involves a double-crossed prince and some stolen money, and most of it needs to be explained through title cards or hand-written letters; it's not exactly a visual film. Holmes barely uses his intuition to solve anything, and there's no real mystery; it's more of a melodrama -- and a dull letdown.

Kino released the DVD, available separately, and in a new 2009 Barrymore box set,which also includes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), The Beloved Rogue(1927) and Tempest (1928). In 2011, the company followed up witha new Blu-Ray edition.

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