George Bryan Brummel, a British military officer, loves Lady Margery, the betrothed of Lord Alvanley. Despite her own desperate love for Brummel, she submits to family pressure and marries ... See full summary »
An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher's name and outstanding reputation in a ... See full summary »
Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.
It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »
One of Barrymore's most prestigious early roles, this rarely seen film also presents screen debuts of William Powell and Roland Young. When a young prince is accused of a crime that could embroil him in international scandal, debonair super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes comes to his aid, and quickly discovers that behind the incident lurks a criminal mastermind eager to reduce Western civilization to anarchy. Written by
Reportedly, John Barrymore, the film's star, was responsible for getting William Powell into films. When MGM wanted to replace Barrymore in "Romeo and Juliet" in 1936, the actor showed his loyalty to the fading star by refusing the role. See more »
How Can a Must-See Movie Be Such a Big Disappointment?
Answer: Largely disinterested acting from its star, an almost actionless script, a plodding pace, verbose inter-titles, and mostly flat, uninvolving direction.
Despite negative contemporary reviews (including an excellent summation of everything that's wrong with the movie in The New York Times), this vanished version of Holmes with its fantastic cast line-up (including the movie debuts of Powell and Young) has long intrigued both film and Sherlock buffs worldwide. So imagine the joy when about 600 rolls of work print offcuts (amounting in all to about 4,000 feet) were found! These were handed to Kevin Brownlow who, with the aid of Albert Parker himself, painstakingly re-assembled the movie over a period of six months. George Eastman House then came to the rescue when the inter-titles were found in their vaults.
The composite reconstructed movie now runs about 109 minutes. There is still footage missing, but that doesn't matter a great deal as, alas, the photoplay is boring enough as it is.
Admittedly, it has its moments: Von Seyffertitz is a marvelous presence. I also enjoyed Roland Young's Watson and Powell's chat with Barrymore in the taxi. And unlike other viewers, I thought Miss Dempster looked quite charming in this non-Griffith outing. And even below-par Barrymore did provide a great moment at the climax for those hardy viewers like myself who persisted right to the end.
But the movie is full of talk. Talk, talk, talk! That's mostly all the characters do in this tediously paced, almost actionless movie. After 80 minutes or so, I just got so bored reading the inter-titles, I gave up. Some of them were too hard to decipher anyway.
Which brings me to the next problem. Labs take no care in printing up positives which are solely to be employed for negative cutting, so 90% of the movie is far too dark. Sometimes you can hardly see what's going on. True, some if it looks attractive and you say to yourself, "Wow! Film noir lighting in 1922!" But this is not the way it was presented to original movie audiences.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?