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Sherlock Holmes (1922)

John Barrymore , Roland Young , Albert Parker  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Barrymore, Roland Young, Carol Dempster, William Powell
  • Directors: Albert Parker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KINO VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024EWPE4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,741 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From the collection of the George Eastman House Motion Picture Department

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. Adapted from the hugely popular stage version of Arthur Conan Doyle s stories (by William Gillette), SHERLOCK HOLMES not only provided Barrymore with one of his most prestigious early roles, but also presented the screen debuts of two notable actors: William Powell (The Thin Man) and Roland Young (Topper). SHERLOCK HOLMES was mastered from a 35mm restoration by the George Eastman House Motion Picture Department, and is accompanied by a score by Ben Model, performed on the Miditzer Virtual Theatre Organ.

U.S. 1922 B&W 85 Min. Goldwyn Pictures Full-Frame (1.33:1)

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Comparing the new Blu-ray to the old DVD shows that there are two main, but slight, improvements.
First: The black levels have been raised a little, just enough to bring out details that are hard to see in the old DVD but not enough to make it look washed out. (The same player was used for both discs so it is not a player issue.)
Second: The framing shows just a sliver more picture on all sides. I first noticed this when you can see the film frame line move into the picture and move back out. This is no doubt the result of image stabilization which was masked off in the DVD presentation.

A good frame to compare the presentations on is at 04:14 into the movie. An interior office shot with two men at a desk. At the top of the picture the two books on the mantle piece are completely in view on the Blu-ray, but the DVD cuts off the top of the second book. Likewise there is a knob at the bottom of the picture that gets cut off slightly in the DVD. The right side of the picture is in dark shadows, but on the black-adjusted Blu-ray you can see details of a chair and other objects that are hard to see in the darker DVD.

And yes, Blu-ray has more resolution than DVD so on a big screen the image will look sharper. On a 32" TV you will not notice the difference.

Yes, Kino has technically added some bonus material, 3 theatrical re-issue trailers.
1) Moroder's Metropolis
2) The Complete Metropolis
3) Battleship Potemkin
These are the trailers that recently ran at theaters to promote that theater's showings of Kino's new restored versions.

There is a nice reproduction of a trade magazine ad for the Sherlock Holmes movie on the reverse side of the cover insert that was not on the DVD.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great To Have On DVD But Wish Movie Was Better. June 30, 2009
I have looked forward to having John Barrymore's SHERLOCK HOLMES on DVD for quite some time. I had seen the movie before but only in a wretched public domain VHS which was so dark that most of the film was hard to make out. It's also hard to follow because it's based on the William Gillette play which takes several liberties with Conan Doyle's original source material. Like the play, the film is problematic in many ways. Though atmospherically lit, the camerawork is rather static and the direction is often ponderous. To be fair, this restoration by the George Eastman House is 24 minutes shorter than the original and this could be a case of where the missing footage makes it seem longer. There are obvious gaps and the film just doesn't flow right.

The biggest problem with this release as far as I'm concerned is the use of Ben Model's virtual organ score. Model is a fine musician who has enhanced many a silent film but this is a movie that badly needs an orchestral score to cover its deficiencies. This score, while well played and well recorded, failed to keep my interest. Still the movie is definitely worth having for the performances alone. In addition to Barrymore you get to see early turns by William Powell (his first), Roland Young (as Dr. Watson), Carole Dempster (away from D.W. Griffith), Hedda Hopper before she became a columnist, and Gustav von Seyffertitz as the ideal Moriarty. SHERLOCK HOLMES is part of Kino's new 4 DVD JOHN BARRYMORE COLLECTION but it can be purchased separately.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different and silent Sherlock July 25, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of several early, silent film versions of the ever-popular detective, and one that lives up to the original and traditional trademarks and characteristics of Sherlock Holmes. In just under 90 minutes, this fast-moving drama takes us from the beginning of Sherlock's career as a freelance sleuth helping out Scotland Yard, meeting his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty, and finishing with the capture of the infamous evildoer after forty crime cases Holmes had worked on over the years. But rather than the typical murders and crimes we are used to today, the story of this 1922 version revolves only around one particular case of a theft and consequent set-up of a European Prince, as well as letters to his betrothed which are later the object of a blackmail attempt. Even so, Holmes puts into action his famous (and often humorous) astute observations and deductive reasoning with his loyal companion, Doctor Watson, and even disguises himself as Moriarty in order to trap the villain once and for all.

What might seem like a somewhat dull and plodding story to modern audiences is given extra appeal and zest by some of the stars, in particular of course, its famous star, John Barrymore. Although this role as Sherlock Holmes doesn't present many opportunities for Barrymore to shine and show off his usual charisma and talents, he does step into the part of Holmes quite well, even if it takes a little getting used to at first. A good villain is also important in stories like this one, and the sinister Moriarty is perfectly portrayed by the brilliant character actor, Gustav von Seyffertitz, who played an impressive array of varied characters, good and evil, throughout the silent era. Also thrown into the mix to attract a wider audience is Carol Dempster, famous for being D.W.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little too elementary... December 19, 2010
Movies have been taking liberties with Conan Doyle's creation long before Guy Ritchie, with the Great Profile's 1922 silent take on the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes (aka Moriarty), a modern-day version ill-advisedly rewriting the book in a manner that offended the purists while not coming up with anything new to appeal to the more casual moviegoer, then or now. Partially shot on location in London and opening with some striking overhead shots of the city, it's not as terrible as its reputation nor as good as it should be considering all the talent and money involved (Reginald Denny, Louis Wolheim and future gossip queen Hedda Hopper are in it as well). Revolving around a blackmail attempt and some love letters to a European Prince from the woman who killed herself when they were prevented from marrying, it's at times a talky script, always a problem in a silent film, with more of a taste for melodrama than sleuthing.

A very loose adaptation of William Gillette's play, it begins with Holmes and Watson as fellow university students, charting his first encounter with Moriarty (on learning the fate of various detectives who have tried to bring him to book, Holmes responds "Oh! - Well, of course, if you're as difficult to know as all that, I'd better be getting back to my microbes") that sets him on a life of fighting crime. But along the way we get Holmes rustically ruminating on human nature and, of all things, falling in love at first sight with Carol Dempster's innocent girl and spending much of the first half of the film in a daze. Or it could be plain disinterest as Barrymore hardly seems terribly engaged with his role, going through the motions of concentrating and staring into the far distance while making little impression.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sherlock holmes
I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and for its time this was a silent move done very well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 4 months ago by Patricia L.
2.0 out of 5 stars Silent Era Film and Dificult to See Image Because It Is So Dark
This movie is extremely dark and it is a silent era film. I love Sherlock Holmes but this should be posted as a 'non-talkie' film.
Published 10 months ago by Knowledge Seeker
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Sherlock Holmes
Silent films are not the best medium for Sherlock Holmes cases, because his deductive inferences require reasoning from which you see. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Scrapple8
3.0 out of 5 stars Admirable But Hard To Follow
This was the first time I sat through a lengthy silent film drama. This may be a salvaged silent film, but it seemed that parts were missing which is ironic because it is very... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Samuel P. Garbo
5.0 out of 5 stars what fun!
i love old movies, and am very partial to silents, but the acting can be rather....excessive, shall we say. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jane H. Otoole
1.0 out of 5 stars Well....Now I don't have to buy this!
Thanks everyone for ruining the movie for me. That's why they call them MYSTERIES you ninkompoops. Thanks for giving away the entire plot!
Published on May 26, 2010 by Duane Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
This Kino release is most likely the best we will see for sometime if not ever. However, as has been mentioned, it is obvious there is some missing footage even without researching... Read more
Published on May 16, 2010 by Dr. Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Return of a John Barrymore Silent Classic
I agree with the observations of the previous two reviewers but I think I can clear up a few of the information gaps. Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by Robert M. Fells
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