So as I do more research, especially getting the filmography in order, I realize I should review some lesser seen films of Lionel Barrymore. Tomorrow I'm off to research again, and I plan on drafting a few reviews of LB films I am particularly fond of: initial ideas are to do The Bells, one of the Kildares, and possibly Sadie Thompson or The Show. I'm not sure I have many readers, but if anyone had a thought of a film they'd like to see reviewed (esp extant silents), drop me a line here!
Because I can rewatch the films now, I hope to be able to describe more in detail the fine, "small" acting LB is so excellent at--the hands, voice inflections, eyes. There was a perception thanks especially to the Kildare films and MGM's rather greedy overworking of LB in the late 30s and 40s that he was phoning in performances. While I've seen a few performances where he had nothing to work with, it's quite rare to see him phone in a performance. But how hard must it have been to notice the small stuff before rewind and pause!
I'm looking forward to the reviews! Let me know any thoughts!