DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1920 U.S.) D: JOHN S. ROBERTSON W: CLARA BERANGER P: ADOLPH ZUKOR
Earlier versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel about a goodly doctor and charitable public figure who concocts a potion that gives an alter ego persona to his dark animal side had already been filmed many times. But this feature is the first American horror classic. It's silent and in b/w (with tinting) but don't let that put you off. John Barrymore is excellent as Jekyll and Hyde and in latter parts of the movie he's really creepy and scary in his Hyde make-up (in fact it remains the scariest version to this day i think). Martha Mansfield is Jekyll's bride to be, while Nita Naldi is Hyde's sex toy (off-screen of course). With Brandon Hurst and Louis Wolheim. There's even a cool animated giant spider. Two other American versions were produced the same year, one lost, one not. Unfortunately a German version directed by none other than F.W. Murnau (NOSFERATU) around the same time (DER JANUSKOPF) also seems to be lost to the ages.The next major version was the 30's Rouben Mamoulian shocker.

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