A new box set from Kino International offers three previously issued films starring the Great Profile — “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (John S. Robertson, 1920), “The Beloved Rogue” (Alan Crosland, 1927), and “Tempest” (Sam Taylor, 1928) — plus the first official DVD release of the Eastman House restoration of Albert Parker’s 1922 “Sherlock Holmes.” Barrrymore remains an important cultural crossover point for the mainstreaming of the movies — Broadway prestige meets cinematic charisma — as well as a model for future generations of “actor stars” like Paul Muni, Robert De Niro and Sean Penn, with their insistence on foregrounding the chameleon-like craft of performance rather than creating consistent, likable identification figures. A review here in the New York Times.
Also in today’s Times, a profile of Andrew Sarris in the Arts and Leisure section confirms that Sarris will not be continuing on a freelance basis with the rickety New York Observer after all. This is sad news for all of us who grew up under Andrew’s critical guidance and insight, but he will continue to teach at Columbia and contribute occasionally to Film Comment.