Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

( 2 )

Overview

In 1920, filmgoers were treated to no fewer than two different film versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this one, John Barrymore plays the humanitarian Dr. Henry Jekyll, who becomes obsessed with the notion of separating the good and evil impulses within every man. To this end, he develops a potion which unleashes his own darker side: the demonic Mr. Hyde. This was the adaptation which established the cliché of having both a "good" and "bad" leading lady, to parallel the doppelganger ...
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Overview

In 1920, filmgoers were treated to no fewer than two different film versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this one, John Barrymore plays the humanitarian Dr. Henry Jekyll, who becomes obsessed with the notion of separating the good and evil impulses within every man. To this end, he develops a potion which unleashes his own darker side: the demonic Mr. Hyde. This was the adaptation which established the cliché of having both a "good" and "bad" leading lady, to parallel the doppelganger aspects of the Jekyll/Hyde personality. Martha Mansfield is the good girl, while Nita Naldi, wearing costumes that were daring indeed in 1920, is the bad one. The adaptors also borrowed the character of Lord Henry from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray in order to provide Jekyll with an evil mentor/blackmailer. Sadly, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde proved to be one of the last starring films for leading lady Martha Mansfield: she died horribly during filming of The Warrens of Virginia 1924 when her costume touched a discarded match and burst into flame.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
John Barrymore always looked just a little bit maniacal even when playing it straight and that trait actually adds to his portrayal of the oh-so-saintly Dr. Jekyll. Barrymore's version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Mr. Hyde has become justly famous and if the ham is sliced a bit thick, well, all the better. The great actor was playing Richard III on Broadway at the time and a bit of Shakespearean comportment seems to have crept into Barrymore's Hyde, who scurries through the fog-bound back-lot London in an almost simian fashion. Surprisingly, the often maligned Nita Naldi adds an almost modern sexuality as the ill-fated cabaret dancer, an contrivance not in Stevenson's original but copied in the two most famous sound remakes. The contrasting Martha Mansfield, as good girl Millicent Carew, is the standard ingénue but she, too, is allowed a couple of nice moments in what essentially is a Barrymore tour de force.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/1/2012
  • UPC: 639767538244
  • Original Release: 1920
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 75,029

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Barrymore Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
Martha Mansfield Millicent Carew
Nita Naldi Miss Gina
Louis Wolheim Music Hall Proprietor
Cecil Clovelly Edward Enfield
Malcolm J. Dunn John Utterson
Brandon Hurst Sir George Carew
Charles Lane Dr. Richard Lanyon
Sheldon Lewis
George S. Stevens Poole
Technical Credits
John S. Robertson Director
Clara S. Beranger Screenwriter
Roy Overbaugh Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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