Dr. Jykell And Mr. Hyde

1218. DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1920-USA). WITH John Barrymore, Nita Naldi, Brandon HURST, LOUIS WOLHEIM. John Barrymore is thrilling in a virtuoso performance as Dr. Jekyll, a kindly physician whose progressive ideas lead him to discover what science can do to separate the good and evil natures of man. Based on ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON’S 19th century tale of terror, the film tells of a handsome doctor who drinks a potion and is transformed into grotesque, evil incarnate. He becomes vulgar Mr. Hyde, with a pointy, ape-like head covered with wispy hairs; an elongated face with pursed lips and eyes that have seen death; and skeletal fingers of enormous length. Barrymore’s first character transformation has become one of the best known horror scenes in the history of film. Simply by contorting his facial features and jerking and writhing his body, he changes before the viewer’s eyes from the good Dr. Jekyll into the horrible Mr. Hyde. Later, with the aid of make-up and cinematic effects, the metamorphosis becomes even more startling. One of America’s leading Shakespearean actors, Barrymore was appearing on stage in 1920 as the villainous Richard III at night and shooting Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde during the day. The strain of playing two such tortured beings was such that he was forced to close the play due to nervous exhaustion. Fortunately, he completed the film, described by a leading exhibitor at the time of its release as ÒThe most important motion picture event of 1920… in which John Barrymore gave the world a revelation of what motion picture acting can be. It proved that a great actor was also a great mime, that real stage talent could not only be reflected on the screen, but was also appreciated by devotees of the silent art,” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a frightening look at the evil that lurks within mankind, a treasured memento of John BarrymoreÕs unreal talent. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 96 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Horror