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Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde


Price: CDN$ 37.36
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Barrymore, Malcolm J. Dunn, Brandon Hurst, Sheldon Lewis, Martha Mansfield
  • Directors: John S. Robertson
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Silent, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Delta
  • Release Date: June 8 2004
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001EFU32
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,910 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
Robert Louis Stevenson cranked out finely plotted, freshly original stories like clockwork. He was the Stephen King of his time and, like King, excelled at horror. John Barrymore was perhaps the most famous stage performer of his time. Known more today as Drew's grandfather and at the end of his short life, a sad alcoholic reflection of his former charisma. In this terrific 1920 version of "DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE," Barrymore's early brilliance is showcased in this first great American horror film that holds its own in the 21st century. In fact, it even has an enhanced, eerie period feel that amps up the dangerous and ill-fated experiment by the curios doctor who discoverz the shadow side of civilization and self. The Mont Alto Orchestra delivers a fine score and the DVD bonus material features a rare 1909 audio recording of the transformation scene, a 1925 one-reel parody starring a goofy Stan Laurel, an excerpt from a rival 1920 version and more.
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Format: DVD
It may be surprising to audiences with modern movie-going sensibilities, given both the absence of well-established genre conventions and the obvious limitations imposed by the absence of sound, that most of the more prominent early movies of genre interest are rather good. The 1920 version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, directed by John S. Robertson, for example, remains a solid entry among the many film versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale, arguably only eclipsed by Rouben Mamoulian's 1932 version starring Fredric March (mainly because of the latter's unintentional comedy). John Barrymore, originating the role of the ill-fated gentleman doctor and his beastly alter ego, is on top form, overcoming the limitations of silence with some superb physical character work. Proving the adage rather early though that Hollywood only knows about four good stories, at least six more versions of the story would be filmed before the advent of sound in 1928.
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Format: DVD
Barrymore's stunning metamorphosis from kindly Dr. Jekyll to hideous Mr. Hyde is remarkably amazing in that he accomplished the effect largely through acting technique - because of that fact, he was justly proud of this performance. This antique curio is fascinating and classic video buffs should enjoy watching this well-preserved account of the 38 year-old legend acting up a storm!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor on July 16 2004
Format: DVD
Directed by John S. Robertson and starring matinee idol John Barrymore in the dual title role, 1920's DR. JECKYLL & MR. HYDE is sometimes described as the "first American horror film." That description is more than a little problematic, but whether it was or it wasn't, DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE certainly put the horror genre on the Hollywood map.
Whether or not you happen to like this particular version of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson tale will depend a great deal upon your tolerance for the change in acting styles that has occurred between the silent and the modern era. Some silent stars--Lillian Gish, Ramon Novarro, and Louise Brooks leap to mind--were remarkably subtle and worked to create a new style of acting appropriate to the screen, but most actors played very broadly. John Barrymore, considered one of the greatest actors of his day, is among the latter, and was noted for his larger-than-life performances on stage. He brings that expansiveness to the screen, where it inevitably feels "too big" to the modern viewer.
At the time, Barrymore's transformation into the evil Mr. Hyde was considered shocking in its realism, but today these celebrated scenes are more likely to induce snickers than thrills--as will much of Hyde's make-up, which seems excessive to the modern sensibility. Even so, there are aspects of the film which survive quite well, scenes in which one is permitted a glimpse into the power this film once had. For Barrymore's Hyde is, for all his bizarre ugliness, a remarkably seductive creature--and Barrymore uses his hands and eyes in a remarkable way. One feels the sexual pull as much as one feels the revulsion.
The 1920 DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE is available in several VHS and DVD releases.
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