DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1913 U.S.) D/W: HERBERT BRENON
The second oldest surviving adaptation was released in two parts by Carl Laemmle`s Universal (still then in it`s infancy), and starred King Baggot (who might also have co-directed uncredited), a name forgotten today, but who was basically the first American movie star (and extremely prolific, sometimes a new Baggot short was released every week!). The 26 b/w minutes (with no soundtrack) that we can view today is quite laughable, and very cheap and amateur looking. When Baggot transforms into Hyde, he has a longer fringe, goofy teeth and walks about in a crouched position (faithful to the "dwarfishness" in Stevenson`s original writings, but it just looks silly). This odd gimp has "many adventures at night", including pushing a crippled boy over in the street! He seems to scare people (there`s a wonderfully stupid scene where he terrorises the patrons of a bar), but i`d piss myself laughing if i ever saw him on the street! I enjoyed myself, but time has not been kind. Probably the earliest so-bad-it`s-good film i`ve ever seen. With Jane Gail (also in the surviving 1912 version), Howard Cramton and Director Brenon. It was re-released in 1915, and footage of it seems to have been used for laughs in a 1932 Universal comedy short called DOCTOR JEKYLL`S HYDE, released around the same time as the Rouben Mamoulian classic for Paramount. Brenon is most famous today for the 1924 PETER PAN and LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH with Lon Chaney. Baggot (who died in 1947) still acted (in bit parts mostly, post-talkie) until the end, but concentrated on directing (the most well remembered today being the 1925 western TUMBLEWEEDS). There were three more Jekyll & Hyde`s in 1913 (all lost?) and a few more (including one in 1914 from Germany) until the 1920 John Barrymore classic.

BACK TO MAIN LIST

BACK TO GENKAN