Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1913, one of the first film versions of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, is worth watching for its star’s performance, says DAVID SAUNDERSON
TITLE: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
YEAR RELEASED: 6 March 1913 (US)
DIRECTOR: Herbert Brenon
CAST: King Baggot, Jane Gail, Matt Snyder, Howard Crampton, William Sorelle, Herbert Brenon.
The original novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde doesn’t see the end to our character. In fact, it is obscure and lets the reader wonder the fate of our immortally-doomed dual figure.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1913 was produced by Carl Laemmle, of Universal Pictures, who went onto make the greatest horrors of the 1920s and 1930s – such as Phantom of the Opera 1925, Dracula 1931 and Frankenstein 1931. The film was re-released in the United States in August 1927.
Movie versions have always been a bit more black and white with Jekyll/Hyde dying at the end. The 1913 version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of the few versions that tries for a happier version, where he almost discovers an antidote.
Cop-outs aside, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1913 is worth-watching for its star, King Baggot’s transformation into a crunched-over dwarf-type Hyde. It’s a little comical and slightly disturbing.
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