Saturday, October 26, 2013

Horror Challenge #67: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

There's something about silent movies that movies with all their jabbering and dialogue today can't quite seem to capture.  Movies without sound had to rely on the intensity of the music and the ability of their actors to captivate an audience with no dialogue (except for the sentences that flashed across the screen from time to time).  I love me some good dialogue, but there's something to be said for a movie that can entertain even without it, you know?  This was one of my favorite books as a kid, because my mom let me read it because it was a classic and therefore not horror, and I always felt bad for Dr. Jekyll back then, but now that I'm older and hopefully wiser than when I was 11, I have a hard time feeling sorry for a guy who came up with a potion he could drink so he could do terrible things without having to feel guilty about it.  What a tool, right?  This movie must have shocked a lot of people back when John Barrymore was a respected actor, so seeing him essentially take drugs and get all grubby with stringy hair and then run around killing people.  He plays Dr. Jekyll as kind of effeminate, so seeing him turn into the evil bully dripping menace and testosterone is quite a transformation.  This movie captures the spirit of the book probably better than any other adaptation I've seen (and I've seen 'em all) mostly because it nails how weaselly Dr. Jekyll is for even wanting to take his potion in the first place.  What a tool.

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