SHERLOCK HOLMES (1922)
Article #974 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-14-2003
Posting Date: 4-12-2004
Directed by Albert Parker
Featuring John Barrymore, Roland Young, Gustav von Seyfertitz
Sherlock Holmes matches wits with the arch-criminal Moriarty.
A very interesting cast is to be found here, with Barrymore as Holmes, Roland Young as Watson, William Powell (his first screen role, as well as Young’s), Seyfertitz as Moriarty, and Hedda Hopper. Like the much later YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, this version puts forth the idea that Holmes and Watson met long before the events of “A Study in Scarlet”, though this marks only the first third of the movie. The story itself borrows from several Holmes stories, though A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA is its most noticeable source. All in all, it’s not bad, but it’s a little disappointing; the story is confusing at times, and Moriarty is probably somewhat scruffier than I usuually think of him. Many of the Holmes’ movies are marginal horror, but other than a few of the supervillain trappings dealing with Moriarty, there is precious little fantastic content here. It’s definitely more of a curiosity piece than a must-see.