Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920 Haydon film)

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Directed by J. Charles Haydon
Produced by Louis B. Mayer
Written by J. Charles Haydon
Based on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Release date(s)
  • April 1920 (1920-04)
Running time 40 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 40-minute horror film of 1920, directed and written by J. Charles Haydon. It is the third adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to be released in 1920.[1] (The first 1920 adaptation is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore and the second Der Januskopf, directed by F. W. Murnau). The Haydon version is somewhat overshadowed by the version starring Barrymore which was released by Paramount Pictures the same year.


At the first transformation starts with Jekyll's butler exclaiming that Jekyll is now "the Apostle from Hell!" Hyde, complete with fangs and scraggy hair, skulks through the city committing such heinous acts as stealing a woman's purse. The police eventually catch up with Hyde, interrogate him, put him in gaol and strap him to the electric chair. Sitting in his chair at home, Jekyll awakes from his nightmare to declare, "I believe in God! I have a soul..." and decides not to create the chemical potion.



The film's producer, Louis B. Mayer, was concerned about copyright infringement relating to the other two film versions of the story released in that same year, so he set the film in New York and altered the plot structure. The final product was so crude that J. Charles Haydon had his name removed from the credits.[1]


Sheldon Lewis returned once again in 1929 to play Dr. Jekyll in an early one-reel sound film short.[2]



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