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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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|Genre||Drama, Classics/Silent Films|
|Format||Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC|
|Contributor||Brandon Hurst, John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, John S. Robertson|
|Runtime||1 hour and 13 minutes|
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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.
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : KV1221BR
- Director : John S. Robertson
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 13 minutes
- Release date : January 28, 2014
- Actors : John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield
- Studio : Kino Lorber films
- ASIN : B00F878JW6
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #24,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Directed by John S. Robertson, it is a fairly faithful rendition of Stevenson's novel and perfectly captures the period of 19th century London. Barrymore delivers a tour de force dual performance, and his transformation into the malevolent Mr. Hyde is a chilling study in pantomime. As the character degenerates further, Barrymore's features become more hideous, his movements more spider-like as he preys upon his female victims. One of these hapless women is played by the exotic Nita Naldi, who projects a potent eroticism that is enough to tempt the latent, lustful desires of Barrymore's good Dr. Jekyll.
Compared to later versions of the famous tale, this excellent silent classic holds its own and has a grim feeling of decay that the others somehow lack. Much of this is due to Barrymore - he really is creepy as Hyde, and while he did use some makeup, it's mostly through facial and bodily contortions that the characterization was realised. Add Roy Overbaugh's shadowy cinematography, and the final effect is splendidly eerie and atmospheric.
Kino/Lorber's Deluxe Edition Blu-ray has been newly remastered from a 35mm archival negative, and features an appropriately melodramatic music score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The image quality surpasses Kino's previous DVD, although some minor wear due to age is still apparent. Two brief sections were obtained from a lesser quality source, but this is the only existing material on the footage. The film is presented with tinting that isn't overly saturated. The boost to HD definitely justifies an upgrade, and I enjoy watching DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE even more, what with all the detail clarity I can now see. Even with the physical ravages of time, this Blu-ray is the next best thing to seeing the actual print - which we would expect to contain wear anyway.
Extra features have been bumped over from the DVD: the 1912 Thanhouser version starring James Cruze; a 15 minute excerpt from a 1920 rival version produced by Louis B. Mayer; DR. PYCKLE AND MR. PRIDE, a 1925 parody starring Stan Laurel; and a 1909 audio recording of "The Transformation Scene."
If you love classic screen horror, this influential film belongs in your collection. I gladly give it my highest recommendation.
The film itself is one of the glories of early silent cinema. John Barrymore is 38 here and was shootng this in Paramount's Astoria Studios during the day while performing Shakespeare's RICHARD III at night. On closer examination there are similarities between Hyde's mannerisms and those traditionally associated with Richard. Even the costume and posture Barrymore uses link the two together. Brandon Hurst's Sir George Carew borrows heavily from Oscar Wilde's Lord Henry in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY even having actual lines of Wilde's ("the only way to get rid of Tempatation is to yield to it") incorporated into the title cards. Nita Naldi's Gina, Louis Wolheim's proprietor, and the tragic Martha Mansfield's Millicent add to my enjoyment. There are the Frederic March and Spencer Tracy versions and several later color ones (including two from Hammer Films and one from Amicus) but when I want to see DR JEKYLL & MR HYDE, this is the one I watch.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED but beware.......you will be scared!
Top reviews from other countries
when i first saw his inital transformation from jekyll to hyde, it was like something from the theatre in that barrymore didn't need any makeup. all he had to do, was to adjust his posture and his facial expression and there was hyde before my eyes! a fine example of acting if ever i saw one.
the storyline is a good one and the title cards are well-written as they explain and describe each character in depth. the sets are a bit on the small side perhaps and certainly can't compare to the sets used for the 1931 version but they serve their purpose nevertheless. the debate about man being able to seperate his evil nature from his good one, is highlighted quite well.
the supporting cast range from being good to average. this film belongs to john barrymore.
the special features included on this dvd from "kino video" include a one reel comedy with stan laurel, using the same story and it is quite amusingly done(where's oliver hardy when you need him?) there are also a few clips of what was a rival production made at the same time of the "jekyll and hyde" story. this is fairly interesting but i would have to see the whole film of course, in order to create a full impression.
considering the age of the film, the footage is remarkably clear.
Most of us know about the movie and its been reviewed better by other folks so all i will say is that this is a bad transfer by Starlite Digital. This is the one with the cover with the chalk writing.
It looks like a 5th generation copy! Sure the film is like ancient but i've seen fantastic versions of other silent movies. Until someone does a decent remaster i guess this will have to do but be prepared to be a bit disappointed. Fantastic movie though.