Bad Movie Logo
"A website to the detriment of good film"
Custom Search
HOMEB-MOVIE REVIEWSREADER REVIEWSFORUMINTERVIEWSUPDATESABOUT
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 22, 2014, 11:48:25 PM
537967 Posts in 40726 Topics by 5128 Members
Latest Member: hfraschilgreg
Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) « previous next »
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)  (Read 1347 times)
akiratubo
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 415
Posts: 3394



« on: November 30, 2008, 02:17:19 AM »

Some of the old silent movies still have it.  This is one of them.

We all know the movie version of the Jekyll and Hyde story.  Dr. Jekyll wants to give in to the baser part of his nature but, at the same time, doesn't want to tarnish the "good" part.  He concocts a serum that he thinks will separate his good and evil halves into two different beings.  That isn't the case.  The serum simply has the effect of bringing his evil half to the fore.  This evil persona takes to calling itself "Mr. Hyde" and (among other things) has a lot of sex with a lot of prostitutes and frequents a couple of opium dens.  Eventually, Hyde's transgressions are too great and bring about his, and Jekyll's, downfall.

This silent version of the story is still one of the best.  For one thing, it has the scariest *looking* Hyde of any of the film versions I've seen.  This Hyde isn't overly monstrous, but there's something wrong about him.  Hyde's trips into whorehouses and opium dens are every bit as unglamorous and filthy as they should be.  They are authentically dirty, in a way modern films just aren't.

If there's a weakness here, it is the same weakness almost all film versions of the Jekyll and Hyde story share.  To wit: Why should we feel sorry for Dr. Jekyll?  He creates his serum, basically, because he wants to cheat on his fiancee because he's been smitten by a prostitute.  This version comes out a little ahead of other versions, because Jekyll never would have felt this temptation if not for the actions of other people.  His fiancee's father, of all people, takes Jekyll to a burlesque house becaue he thinks Jekyll is too repressed to get married; he hasn't sinned enough.  This hardly makes Jekyll a tragic figure in my book, but at least it's a better reason for him to create his serum than some versions of the story put forth.

If you only see one silent film in your life, see this one.  It's good.
Logged

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
The Burgomaster
Aggravating People Worldwide Since 1964
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 592
Posts: 7869



« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2008, 07:56:49 AM »

I saw this about a year ago in one of the MILL CREEK 50 MOVIE PACKS I own.  I agree it is a very good movie.  However, as far as silent movies go, I prefer NOSFERATU and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.
Logged

"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
Rev. Powell
Global Moderator
B-Movie Kraken
****

Karma: 1811
Posts: 14643


Click on that globe for 366 Weird Movies


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 06:28:52 PM »

Thanks for putting this film in my mind.  I think I need to see this version to compare to the 1931 Frederic March/1941 Spencer Tracy versions.  The 1931 version was pre-Code, but it was only mildly sexy; it still seemed like Hyde should be even sleazier.  Barrymore's Hyde just may fit the bill.
Logged

"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
akiratubo
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 415
Posts: 3394



« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 12:53:39 AM »

Oh, yes, he's very sleazy.  The scene where he goes into an extremely scummy brothel and picks up two girls for a threesome is so sleazy, I thought I watching a 70s movie for a second.
Logged

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
peter johnson
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 107
Posts: 1490



« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 12:41:11 PM »

I saw this on a big-screen double-bill with "Un Sangre de Poete" once when I was 16 -- scarred me for life . . . In a good way!!

Barrymore was billed as using no makeup when the film came out, in response to the much-ballyhooed makeup abilities of Lon Chaney.  It's easy to see, though, that while the makeup is very minimal -- Barrymore does achieve much via facial twisting & leering -- he is, indeed, using shading techniques on his eyes & cheeks & hands.  Still, it's quite an accopmplishment. 

I've always been curious about what's flying off his hands/off his fingertips during the initial convulsion scene, and was it intentional.

Yes, it's a good scary flick -- one of the great things about "period" silent films is that Westerns & films set in the 19th century slums, etc., didn't have to stretch very far to get props and sets, and sometimes what you're seeing is the real deal that would have been around in the 1800's or 1700's, before Mr. Hitler's Urban Renewal Projects or suburban sprawl ate a lot of these places up.  I recall parts of Glasgow in the 1970's, that were missed by the Luftwaffe, before the economic boom times, that had been slums since the 1700's -- You could have filmed a plausible remake of "Hyde" right there and then!!

peter johnson/denny living in the past
Logged

I have no idea what this means.
Pages: [1]
Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) « previous next »
    Jump to:  


    RSS Feed Subscribe Subscribe by RSS
    Email Subscribe Subscribe by Email


    Popular Articles
    How To Find A Bad Movie

    The Champions of Justice

    Plan 9 from Outer Space

    Manos, The Hands of Fate

    Podcast: Todd the Convenience Store Clerk

    Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    Dragonball: The Magic Begins

    Cool As Ice

    The Educational Archives: Driver's Ed

    Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

    Do you have a zombie plan?

    FROM THE BADMOVIES.ORG ARCHIVES
    ImageThe Giant Claw - Slime drop

    Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

    Lesson Learned:
    • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

    Subscribe to Badmovies.org and get updates by email:

    HOME B-Movie Reviews Reader Reviews Forum Interviews TV Shows Advertising Information Sideshows Links Contact

    Badmovies.org is owned and operated by Andrew Borntreger. All original content is © 1998 - 2014 by its respective author(s). Image, video, and audio files are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law, and are property of the film copyright holders. You may freely link to any page (.html or .php) on this website, but reproduction in any other form must be authorized by the copyright holder.