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
Contrary to popular belief, this film was not shot at the Astoria Studios in Long Island. Principal photography took place between December 1919 and January 1920 in the rooftop auditorium of the Amsterdam Opera House on 44th St. in Manhattan, in order for Barrymore to make his regularly scheduled Broadway appearances. In between February, 1920 and September, 1920, Paramount used the downstairs auditorium when it became available. The Astoria studios opened the following month. See more »
After the first transformation scene when Hyde attempts to change back into Jekyll, as he throws himself onto the floor, you can see one of his prosthetic fingers fly off. See more »
Sir George Carew:
A man cannot destroy the savage in him by denying its impulses. They only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
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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 »
This silent-era classic stars the one and only John Barrymore in the lead role. Barrymore's performance is clearly the one since most imitated by others. It is likely his performance as Hyde here that influenced later cartoon versions and what have you. The menacing stare, those creepy large hands held high ready to strike, the crouched over position, the evil intent in the eyes and the brow. Barrymore is simply fantastic and he pulls this off with much less make-up than many others. It's amazing how he can also pull off playing the tormented Dr. Jekyll-the complete opposite of Hyde perfectly and shows his tremendous range as an actor.
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