Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson story: Doctor Henry Jekyll's enthusiasm for science and his selfless acts of service have made him a much-admired man. But as he visits Sir George Carew one evening, his host criticizes him for his reluctance to experience the more sensual side of life. Sir George goads Jekyll into visiting a music hall, where he watches the alluring dancer Gina. Jekyll becomes fascinated with the two contrasting sides of human nature, and he becomes obsessed with the idea of separating them. After extensive work in his laboratory, he devises a formula that does indeed allow him to alternate between two completely different personalities, his own and that of a brutish, lascivious person whom he names Hyde. It is not long before the personality of Hyde begins to dominate Jekyll's affairs. Written by
John Barrymore hauled many of his prized potted plants from his apartment to the set to appear in scenery in the movie. See more »
When the giant spider apparition (manifestation of Hyde) climbs onto Jekyll's bed, the legs of the actor manipulating the costume are clearly visible. See more »
Dr. Richard Lanyon:
[Officiously as bacteria under microscope]
Damn It! I don't like your tampering with the supernatural.
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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. See more »
That this famous film version of the Stephenson classic, perhaps the first really great American thriller, was enormously aided by John Barrymore's extraordinary abilities is universally appreciated. Nearly forgotten now, however, is the fact the movie's success was also due to the exceptional beauty, marvellously captured, of Ziegfeld Follies showgirl Martha Mansfield in one of her first leading screen roles, that of the ingenue love interest to Barrymore's Dr. Jekyll incarnation.
The picture's period setting provided the ideal backdrop for Mansfield's delicate blonde looks and delightfully coy demeanor. It also gave the budding favorite ample excuse to wear the romantic chiffon creations of the couturiere "Lucile" (Lady Duff-Gordon), which are seen to best advantage in the dinner party scenes. To coincide with the release of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (March 28, 1920), Martha Mansfield was sufficiently publicity-savvy to pose in her latest Lucile gowns for a double page photo-spread in "Harper's Bazaar" (March 1920).
Mansfield's popularity in the Paramount horror film lead her to be chosen by producer David Selznick to succeed Olive Thomas as the studio's top star upon the latter's shocking death in Paris. Tragically Mansfield was destined for a similar end, for only four years later she died of burns sustained when her costume caught fire while shooting a movie on location in Texas.
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