Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Silent)

An early film version of the Robert Louis Stevenson horror classic. John Barrymore as kindly Dr. Jekyll transforms himself into the evil monster, Mr. Hyde.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Silent)
7.9K ratings
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Format:  DVD
item number:  ALP 4038D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 36 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: August 27, 2002
  • Originally Released: 1920
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , , &
Directed by
Screenplay by
Original story by
Composition by
Cinematography by

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 13


User Ratings: 2,989
Rating: 3/4 -- One of the first significant American horror movies, and an interesting contrast to the same year's other, more important genre milestone, Germany's 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.' Full Review
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Jan 31, 2014
Rating: 4/5 -- Not up to the Mamoulian version, but Barrymore's performance makes it essential.
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
May 5, 2004
Rating: A- -- This was the picture that made Barrymore a household name. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Mar 8, 2011
Rating: 4/5 -- One of the better renditions of the tale, thanks to John Barrymore's brilliant silent performance.
Flipside Movie Emporium
May 14, 2007
Rating: 3/4 -- One of three 1920 adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic allegorical chiller, the Paramount Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is remembered primarily for John Barrymore's bravura performance as the title duo. Full Review
TV Guide
Sep 26, 2007
The Stevenson story serves as the premise for an early (1921) appearance by John Barrymore, who plays the transformation scene -- very effectively -- without the aid of trick photography. Full Review
Chicago Reader
Sep 26, 2007
Rating: 7/10 -- A wig, hairy prosthetic hands, and a slouched posture were all Barrymore needed to bring Stevenson's defining creation to life, and he did so with gusto. Full Review
Movie Metropolis
Jan 24, 2014

Description by OLDIES.com:

John Barrymore is riveting as humanitarian scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll in this classic 1920 version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale. Dr. Jekyll, obsessed with separating the good and evil impulses in every person, creates a potion that transforms him into the demonic Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll's on-camera transformation to Hyde contains a tour de force performance by John Barrymore. The initial transformation scene was achieved only through Barrymore's facial contortions without the use of makeup and remains a frightening, memorable sequence to this day.

Product Description:

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's often adapted 1886 socially conscious horror novella, this version stars the incomparable John Barrymore as Dr. Henry Jekyll, a gentle, saintly Victorian physician. However, when the good Dr. Jekyll meets the diabolical Sir George Carew by chance one evening, Jekyll becomes fascinated by the dark side of the human psyche. Further goading his imagination is the sinfully seductive Miss Gina, who arouses more of Jekyll's nascent sexual and sociopathic longings. Determined to explore the dark side of consciousness without endangering himself, Jekyll concocts a potion that transforms him into Edward Hyde, an uninhibited rogue whom Barrymore brilliantly brings to life with the help of only artificial teeth and fingers. Soon, Jekyll finds that it is becoming harder and harder to separate his two personalities, sending him into a downward spiral that seems destined to end with the destruction of his former identity.

Plot Synopsis:

In this brilliant silent version of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, starring John Barrymore, a doctor investigates dividing man's intellectual side from his baser instincts. His experimentation awakens the monster within and the good doctor must fight himself to save the ones he loves.


Production Notes:

  • All other versions of this classic tale spell the doctor's name as Jekyll, not Jeckyll.
  • A silent film.
  • The Kino videocassette features an 84-minute version of the 1920 "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde;" 10 minutes from the 1911 version, starring James Cruze; and 6 minutes from Louis B. Mayer's 1920 version starring Sheldon Lewis. It also features an organ score by Gaylord Carter.
  • Additional cast: J. Malcolm Dunn (John Utterson) and Cecil Clovelly (Edward Enfield).
  • Additional credits: Robert M. Haas (architecture) and Charles O. Seessel (decorations).

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
Based on 7906 ratings.
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Transformation Movie Lover: from Brick, NJ -- August, 20, 2004

This DVD was first offered in 2002. I am amazed that no one has seen fit to comment on this movie since. The initial transformation from Jekyll to Hyde is astounding, especially given our present-day addiction to special effects in our movies. John Barrymore's on-camera transformation to Hyde is alone worth more than the price of the DVD. Such acting talent is no longer required.

Even more amusing is what occurs in the initial transformation back to Jekyll. In today's world, such a mistake would have warranted a do-over. I won't tell you what the mistake was; you'll have to see it for yourself.

I don't listen to silent movie soundtracks. I listen to music of my own choosing. For this movie, anything by Tool fits well. Early Metallica music fits well too.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 36,625
  • UPC: 089218403896
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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