by Tony Dayoub
This is a contribution to For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon being led by Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films and Farran Smith Nehme, aka The Siren, at The Self-Styled Siren.
With all the hype surrounding the release of yet another iteration of Sherlock Holmes this past Christmas, many might have overlooked a rare cinephilic treat related to its attendant publicity. Turner Classic Movies celebrated the character—one of (if not) the most often depicted in cinema—with a day-long marathon of his films. From Basil Rathbone to Peter Cushing, most of the actors that have played the eccentric detective were represented. The most interesting film was reserved for TCM's regular Silent Sunday showcase, the 1922 Sherlock Holmes starring the renowned John Barrymore as the eponymous sleuth. This was the television debut of the previously lost silent, restored by the George Eastman House with the help of the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2001.
Grand Hotel), one more palatable to today's audiences than the ones typically found in his other films. 1922 was the year that Barrymore would give his best regarded stage performance as Hamlet. The female lead, Dempster, makes a rare appearance in a film outside of her collaborations with mentor and lover, D.W. Griffith (Intolerance). Future Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper has a small but pivotal appearance in the film as a woman working for Moriarty. But most interesting is the fact that Sherlock Holmes features the debuts of two actors who would go on to greater acclaim in the future.
Topper(1937). And in the part of the confidential informant, Foreman Wells, is an actor who went on to portray a famous detective in his own right, William Powell.
Please donate any amount you can to support the efforts of the National Film Preservation Foundation.
The National Film Preservation Foundation is the independent, nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. They work directly with archives to rescue endangered films that will not survive without public support.
The NFPF will give away 4 DVD sets as thank-you gifts to blogathon donors chosen in a random drawing: Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 and Treasures IV: American Avant Garde Film, 1947-1986.