Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I) (1920)

Unrated   |    |  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) Poster

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.


7/10
4,407

Photos

  • John Barrymore in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
  • John Barrymore and Nita Naldi in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
  • John Barrymore, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, Paramount, 1920, **I.V.
  • "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" John Barrymore 1920 Paramount **I.V.
  • John Barrymore, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, Paramount, 1920, **I.V.
  • John Barrymore in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


6 May 2004 | Spondonman
7
| Demon drink
I'm afraid this is my favourite film version of the tale. I say afraid because I think all the versions following this were technically better, but I still come back to this one. It's faults are legion, mainly from the technological standpoint, and you can also sometimes shake your head at the acting talents displayed, but the atmosphere of the film as a Victorian melodrama is unbeatable. The age of the film itself actually helps in this case (in these digital times), with plenty of blurred smoky foggy images to contemplate. As in the case of Hitchcock's 39 Steps, I preferred the film to the book.

Barrymore/Hyde's convulsions can be mirth inducing, but you can't argue with the fact that if you saw him in real life you'd cross the road to avoid him. Watch his expression after he kills Carew!

This DVD version ran a sedate b&w 82 minutes - after a lifetime of watching a tinted 59 minuter it took some getting used to, and the music was totally unsympathetic to the action too. Therefore the next time I trot this out it really will be silent! But well worth watching seminal stuff especially if you're interested in seeing the best film (that survives anyhow) from 1920.

Critic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson's novelette were written as plays and performed; the earliest in the United States by Thomas Russell Sullivan opened in Boston on 9 May 1887 and moved to New York City on 12 May 1887.


Quotes

Sir George Carew: My dear Lady Camden, a beautiful woman like you is Paradise for the eyes - - but Hell for the soul!


Goofs

When the giant spider apparition (manifestation of Hyde) climbs onto Jekyll's bed, the legs of the actor manipulating the costume are clearly visible.


Crazy Credits

Except for John Barrymore whose name appears above the title, actors were not originally credited in this movie at the start or at the end. Instead, four additional actors and their character names are credited in the inter-titles right before they appear on-screen.


Alternate Versions

In 1993 Jeff Forrester / USA Networks produced NEW copyrighted versions of mainstream silent films w/ EXCLUSIVE scores & NEW inter-titles. All but one were in black & white. There were 7 in total. They were aired on the SYFY (SCI-FI) Channel during the Christmas holiday in 1993 as part of SCI-FI Channel's Silent Cinema marathon. It was hosted by renowned film critic Jeffrey Lyons & was taped @ the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE in Astoria, NY. These particular versions have NEVER been available in ANY home video format. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They were distributed by JORDEXX TELEVISION, INC. The DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (1920) score was composed & performed by Michael Murphy.

Storyline

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Genres

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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