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Originally released as a two-parts, this 26-minute short is certainly the longest of all the early versions of Stevenson's story and it also probably has the smallest budget. The film has King Baggot play the kind Dr. Jekyll who turns into the murderous Mr. Hyde after drinking the wrong potion. To me this is certainly the best of the early versions I've seen as Baggot really does have to do pretty much everything himself and in the end I think it makes for a find Mr. Hyde. The budget appears to be very small as the special effects are certainly lacking and are really far behind the work various other artists were doing including the master Melies. One can't help but wish the producer's had spent a little extra green trying to do more with the make up as pretty much all we get are a few shades under the eyes and not every scene even has that. What makes up for this is the performance by Baggot who really gives it his all and delivers a different type of take on Jekyll. Since there's no make up to hide behind, Baggot must instead create a real character and he makes a few interesting choices including playing Hyde as an almost hunchback who is basically a cripple, kneeling around and hobbling all over the place. This certainly doesn't make for anything scary but it's an interesting and different take. I think Baggot also manages to come across very intelligent with Dr. Jekyll and makes us feel as if we're really watching two different characters. The extra running time gives us several more scenes of Jekyll being destructive and this includes a rather shocking scene where he attacks a cripple boy just for the fun of it. The direction could have been better but I did enjoy the costume design and the sets were impressive for such a low budget. This isn't the easiest version to get your hands on but if you can find it and you're a fan of the story then this here is certainly worth watching.
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