Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 silent film starring John Barrymore. The movie is based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, which can be read online here.

Moria notes its faithfulness to the Stevenson story but calls it "possibly overrated". 1000 Misspent Hours claims "the Barrymore Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde doesn’t fall too far short of deserving the epithet that I have frequently heard applied to it: the first great American horror film." Weird Wild Realm pans it, saying
Were the 1920 silent version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde the only thing a viewer knew of Barrymore's acting, he would be mistaken for a clownishly overacting fool in a piss-poor halloween costume dashed together by his blind granny.

The adaptation is a rough outline devoid of depth, devoid of visual charm, & of specialized interest only.
11/28/2007: FilmFanatic has a review.

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