Thursday, February 7, 2013

The great Charlie Chaplin! O, the age of silent films!

Vaudeville... to Broadway.... to silent films... to modern day films. It is no secret, Americans love good entertainment.
From Cohan to Charlie Chaplin to Sinatra to Martin Freeman! To John Barrymore. (NOT John Barrowman.... John Barrymore).

You'll never guess what I watched tonight. A silent film from 1922 (which has been restored) starring John Barrymore as Mr. Sherlock Holmes.


My friend's mom saw this at the library and got it out for me. I thought it was just going to be an old black and white Sherlock Holmes, like Basil Rathbone or something, but I got a shock... It was a silent film! I was ecstatic. I could not believe it!
So I spent the next 85 minutes drowned in silent film bliss.... And Sherlock Holmes.
Basically the plot was A Scandal in Bohemia (the first Sherlock Holmes short story). Except whoever wrote it changed all the names and changed the plot a bit...
No Irene Adler. Instead it was about a prince who was going to marry a girl named Rose. That is, until his brothers are killed and he's made crown prince. Rose ends up throwing herself off a cliff and her sister, Alice, is going to blackmail the crown prince with letters he and Rose wrote to each other as revenge for her sister's death.
So Sherlock Holmes goes to find the letters.... (In a similar way as he does in the book. A pretend fire, and she goes after the letters).
Oh yeah, and Moriarty is thrown in there too, somewhere... I'm not exactly sure how he fit in.
Anyway, in the end Moriarty's web was foiled and the prince wasn't blackmailed... And Sherlock Holmes married Alice.
You read right. In the end, Moriarty says, "Don't think this is over." and Holmes replies, "I hope it's over, because I'm leaving for my honeymoon tomorrow." (Of course, they didn't say anything because it was a silent film.)
After he says that, Moriarty is led away and Watson congratulates his friend. Holmes waves Watson away and after Watson leaves, leans in for a kiss. 'The End' rolls across the screen just before their lips touch (thankfully).

Despite the deviation from Sherlock Holmes's personality and the plot line from the original story, I enjoyed this film a lot. I enjoyed laughing at it - because silent films are laughable, even if they are serious.
John Barrymore played the part of Sherlock Holmes very well, and he looks like the great detective as well!


The other characters were well cast as well... Moriarty looked like Moriarty and Watson looked like Watson.

Though the plot was a bit confusing and it deviated from real Sherlock Holmes, it is most definitely worth watching. Arthur Conan Doyle himself approved of the movie, and I believe he had a part in writing it.

For Sherlock Holmes fans, this movie is a cute, fun piece of film history to watch and I recommend it!

Live long and prosper!


  1. xD Thank you for specifying the John.

    Also, ooh silent films! I've always wondered what legit silent films look like...I've never been graced to see one. Sounds cool!

  2. I want to watch a silent film...and now that I know there is a Sherlock silent film I'm going to see if I can find it.
    He marries her....that is going to take awhile to sink in. I'm trying to imagine him as a husband.

    I agree, Moriarty likely is E-Lock's hobby. And I saw the scarf as well. I vote you and I go on an undercover mission to liberate him of the scarf. It would be happier for all involved.