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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Released Mar 18, 1920 1h 7m Horror List
92% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 67% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
Scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll (John Barrymore) is intelligent and diligent, but also uptight and extremely serious about his work. When his friend, Sir George Carew (Brandon Hurst), takes him to a show featuring the sensual Miss Gina (Nita Naldi), an aroused Jekyll sets out on a quest to separate man's saintly and sinful sides. His experiments succeed, and his evil alter ego, Mr. Hyde, is created. As the doctor uncontrollably alternates between Jekyll and Hyde, danger looms. Read More Read Less

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Critics Reviews

View All (13) Critics Reviews
Fernando F. Croce Slant Magazine The split persona at the center of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde hews intriguingly close to the personal foibles of star John Barrymore. Rated: 2.5/4 Jul 6, 2009 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader The Stevenson story serves as the premise for an early (1921) appearance by John Barrymore, who plays the transformation scene -- very effectively -- without the aid of trick photography. Sep 26, 2007 Full Review John Beifuss Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) One of the first significant American horror movies, and an interesting contrast to the same year's other, more important genre milestone, Germany's 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.' Rated: 3/4 Jan 31, 2014 Full Review Christopher Long Movie Metropolis A wig, hairy prosthetic hands, and a slouched posture were all Barrymore needed to bring Stevenson's defining creation to life, and he did so with gusto. Rated: 7/10 Jan 23, 2014 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews This was the picture that made Barrymore a household name. Rated: A- Mar 8, 2011 Full Review TV Guide One of three 1920 adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic allegorical chiller, the Paramount Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is remembered primarily for John Barrymore's bravura performance as the title duo. Rated: 3/4 Sep 26, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Mario C Wow, what a brooding, yet, sensual adaptation of this macabre work of mind being splintered by a passion to be free from moral dilemmas. Watch and find out, if you can delve into another place and time, which will transport you to a stranger's world made up within beastly endeavors. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/30/23 Full Review Audience Member John Barrymore, who plays both Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde in this movie, was such a gifted physical actor that the initial part of his transformation has no makeup. It's him contorting his body and appearance all on his own. This adaption of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson was written by Clara Beranger (who was one of the original faculty members at USC School of Cinematic Arts) and was directed by John S. Robertson, who The Byrds wrote the song "Old John Robertson" about. Henry Jekyll (Barrymore) is led to believe that all men have two sides at constant war for their souls: a good and evil brain, basically. A potion that he creates allows him to access that evil side of his being, unleashing Edward Hyde. Yet by the end of the film, the potion is no longer needed and the transformation comes whenever Jekyll becomes upset. A few years after making this movie, Barrymore bought a house in Hollywood for $6,000. He got the seller to lower the price by a thousand dollars by showing up the closing dressed as Mr. Hyde. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review georgan g Barrymore's acting is alone worth the watch. The makeup is more advanced than the earlier silent versions, but it's Barrymore's acting that bring Mr Hyde alive. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review david l While the 1920 movie adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde lacks in terms of horror/thriller elements, it more than compensates that with a strong, faithfully adapted script, a scene-stealing turn in the main role by John Barrymore and terrific production design. The intertitles are also quite stylish and the score is effective. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member My favorite version of the film. The acting is memorable Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member John Sidney Barrymore was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1882, a member of the Drew and Barrymore theatrical families. His mother's early death and father's later mental breakdown were instrumental in John's lifetime of alcoholism. His older siblings, Lionel and Ethel, were also renowned, famous actors whom he rather reluctantly followed into what he called the family curse (in lieu of "business"): acting. After massive stage successes, he focused on silent films for a period of 14 years, soon gaining his nickname, "The Great Profile". He began filming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in November of 1919. It was based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and is set in late 1880s Victorian London. It differed from the novella by adding the character of Millicent, Dr. Jekyll's fiancée, using as a source the London stage play that starred Richard Mansfield, a German-born but mostly English- and American-raised actor. An interesting side note is that Mansfield was performing in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1888 West-end London during the period when Jack the Ripper was murdering prostitutes on the East side of town, in Whitechapel. One audience member actually wrote to the police accusing Richard Mansfield of the Ripper murders because his onstage transformation from suave gentleman doctor into mad, beast-like killer was so overwhelming. Also, writer Robert Louis Stevenson had always intended Jekyll to be pronounced, "JEE-kul", not "JEC-kul", as a play on "hide (Hyde) and seek (JEE-kill)". Over time, Stevenson's characters influenced the English language to such an extent that dictionaries added "Jekyll and Hyde" as a "noun" meaning "one having a two-sided personality, one side of which is good and the other evil." Man is not truly one, but truly two. Reviews of Barrymore's performance screamed about his screen presence potentially threatening the public's mental as well as physical health. Overall, 1920 film critics felt this film was fine, dignified, and yet contained the excellent, disturbing performance of the star. Brandon Hurst, who played Jekyll's would-be father in law, had a long career in horror-themed films, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Man Who Laughs, Murders in the Rue Morgue, White Zombie, Ghost of Frankenstein, and House of Frankenstein. Martha Mansfield, who played Jekyll's fiancée Millicent, was severely burned in 1923 while filming The Warrens of Virginia, only to die the following day from her injuries, at the age of 24. Nita Naldi, who played the exotic dancer that Hyde convinces to stay with him, was personally selected for her role by Barrymore, when he saw her in a dance performance in New York. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis Scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll (John Barrymore) is intelligent and diligent, but also uptight and extremely serious about his work. When his friend, Sir George Carew (Brandon Hurst), takes him to a show featuring the sensual Miss Gina (Nita Naldi), an aroused Jekyll sets out on a quest to separate man's saintly and sinful sides. His experiments succeed, and his evil alter ego, Mr. Hyde, is created. As the doctor uncontrollably alternates between Jekyll and Hyde, danger looms.
Director
John S. Robertson
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Production Co
Famous Players-Lasky Corporation
Genre
Horror
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 18, 1920, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Feb 2, 2016
Runtime
1h 7m
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