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Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde

(1920)

 

“Stick to the positive sciences, Jekyll,” says Charles Lane’s character early in this best of two 1920 feature film adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson novelette, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The film’s star John Barrymore, known to his legion of dedicated fans as The Great Profile (and the Profile is prominently on display here), never ceased to be dignified and entertaining in any of his film roles.

Barrymore was an actor. When viewing his film legacy, you know you are watching an actor at work. Perhaps being a member of America’s preeminent stage family carried with it an obligation to display all of the pomp expected of a bearer of the title. John Barrymore brought all of his considerable acting talents to a role, but he brought a touch of self-consciousness and hamminess also.

At times he would even make fun of his stage and screen persona, as in The Beloved Rogue (1927) a ceaselessly fun and atypical Barrymore entertainment.

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the first of two 1920 adaptations of the Robert Louis Stevenson novelette (the other starring Sheldon Lewis — who?), Barrymore brought a dedication and moderate intensity to the role of the noble research doctor who goes astray.

For years apocryphal stories have had it that Barrymore eschewed makeup for this role and its macabre transformations from Jekyll to Hyde, but a simple viewing of the film reveals that this was not the case. Hyde’s long fingers and hideously elongated skull are part of the Mr. Hyde character makeup design. The camera dissolves and the makeup transformations are there. But so is the famous Barrymore performance.

At times a gesture or expression shows Barrymore’s brilliance as an actor, at others the same things show the repertoire of a hackneyed acting style (the fault of either Barrymore or John S. Robertson, the film’s director).

Stevenson’s psychological exploration of man’s willingness to embrace both good and evil, and the conflict that results, is reasonably intact here. The film is moderately atmospheric and appropriately moody.

Supporting actors bring a solid foundation to this unabashed Barrymore vehicle, especially Louis Wollheim as Nita Naldi’s scrupleless pimp. Naldi herself is intriguingly vampiric. — Carl Bennett

coverKino Classics
2014 Blu-ray Disc edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white and color-tinted black & white, 79 minutes, not rated,
with Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925), black & white, 21 minutes, not rated, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) [excerpts], black & white, 15 minutes, not rated, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K1221, UPC 7-38329-12212-6.
Pillarboxed 1920 x 1080p 16:9 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc, Region-Free, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $34.95.
DVD release date: 28 January 2014.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 8 / audio: 8 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.
Producer Bret Wood has produced a remastered home video edition for Kino Lorber, with a new high-definition video transfer that has been prepared from a very-good 35mm preservation negative, which is in very-good condition and is flecked with moderate speckling, a fine patina of scuffing, scratches, other damage, and the beginnings of light filmstock decomposition. The source material is the same as was utilized as for Kino’s 2001 edition.

The footage missing from their 2001 edition, as noted in our review below, has been included in this remastered edition — accounting for the differences in running times of the two Kino editions. The footage missing in the 35mm source material has been bridged with footage from a fair-to-good 16mm reduction print.

This Blu-ray Disc edition’s high-resolution video transfer reveals the serious shortcomings of the preservation negative. Likely to have been present in the print material being preserved, the preservation negative is often not as sharp as it should be, with a curious double printing look that is seen in the motion footage but is especially noticeable in the intertitles. The picture image is OK in its top region but is progressively blurrier toward the bottom region. Some viewers will not notice this shortcoming, but we noticed this in the 2001 edition and here it is again, faithfully reproduced in high-definition. It is quite striking when some shots in the source material (especially an intertitle) is sharp throughout the image, and it is a welcome relief for the eyes, but we feel it is a pity that the film has apparently not survived in better condition.

The musical accompaniment for this edition again presents the wonderful Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra music score from the 2001 Kino edition, which is stiringly performed and well recorded. The score has been thoughtfully compiled and always is a compliment to the action or emotion of the scene.

The supplementary material of this edition includes exerpts from the Pioneer Film Corp. (Louis B. Mayer) 1920 feature starring Sheldon Lewis that was originally part of the 1991 Kino VHS edition. The Lewis adaptation was a knock-off version of the Stevenson story made quickly for sale on the State Rights market to directly compete with the Barrymore version. This Kino DVD features a new transfer of the Lewis exerpts, which doesn’t much help the rough 16mm reduction print.

The silly Stan Laurel two-reeler parody Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925) was transferred from a 35mm British release print in very-good to excellent condition, with only very light speckling and emulsion chipping until some moderate decomposition is seen about ten minutes into the film. New digital titles have been generated to replace (we assume) the decomposed original intertitles. The finale of the film appears to have succumbed to decomposition since it ends abruptly. Mont Alto member Rodney Sauer provides accompaniment on piano for the supplemental films.

Also included is “The Transformation Scene,” a circa 1909 audio recording by Len Spencer as released by Columbia Records [A389] (3 minutes).

Added to the supplemental material on this new Kino edition is Thanhouser’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912), a film often included in other home video editions of silent era Jekyll and Hyde productions. The film has been mastered from a very-good 35mm Blackhawk Films preservation print. The supplemental material by Bret Wood and Rodney Sauer that were part of the 2001 Kino edition are absent here.

With its updated video transfer and the addition of missing footage, this new Kino edition is now the best available home video edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde available. Of Kino’s two new discs, we only slightly prefer the Blu-ray Disc over the new DVD. With the lack of sharp detail in much of the 35mm preservation print, a comparison of the BD and DVD discs is pretty much of a push. Collectors who do not have a BD player will not miss much in the new DVD edition, which is a noticeable improvement over the 2001 Kino edition.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverKino Classics
2014 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white and color-tinted black & white, 79 minutes, not rated,
with Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925), black & white, 21 minutes, not rated, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) [excerpts], black & white, 15 minutes, not rated, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K1220, UPC 7-38329-12202-7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $29.95.
DVD release date: 28 January 2014.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 8 / audio: 8 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.
Producer Bret Wood has produced a remastered home video edition for Kino Lorber, with a new high-definition video transfer that has been prepared from a very-good 35mm preservation negative, which is in very-good condition and is flecked with moderate speckling, a fine patina of scuffing, scratches, other damage, and the beginnings of light filmstock decomposition. The source material is the same as was utilized as for Kino’s 2001 edition.

The footage missing from their 2001 edition, as noted in our review below, has been included in this remastered edition — accounting for the differences in running times of the two Kino editions. The footage missing in the 35mm source material has been bridged with footage from a fair-to-good 16mm reduction print.

This remastered DVD edition does not have the distracting compression artifacts of the 2001 Kino edition noted below, but it does have enough extra image resolution from the HD video transfer to display the serious shortcomings of the preservation negative. Likely to have been present in the print material being preserved, the preservation negative is often not as sharp as it should be, with a curious double printing look that is seen in the motion footage but is especially noticeable in the intertitles. The picture image is OK in its top region but is progressively blurrier toward the bottom region. Some viewers will not notice this shortcoming, but we noticed this in the 2001 edition and here it is again, faithfully reproduced in high-definition. It is quite striking when some shots in the source material (especially an intertitle) is sharp throughout the image, and it is a welcome relief for the eyes, but we feel it is a pity that the film has apparently not survived in better condition.

The musical accompaniment for this edition again presents the wonderful Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra music score from the 2001 Kino edition, which is stiringly performed and well recorded. The score has been thoughtfully compiled and always is a compliment to the action or emotion of the scene.

The supplementary material of this edition includes exerpts from the Pioneer Film Corp. (Louis B. Mayer) 1920 feature starring Sheldon Lewis that was originally part of the 1991 Kino VHS edition. The Lewis adaptation was a knock-off version of the Stevenson story made quickly for sale on the State Rights market to directly compete with the Barrymore version. This Kino DVD features a new transfer of the Lewis exerpts, which doesn’t much help the rough 16mm reduction print.

The silly Stan Laurel two-reeler parody Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925) was transferred from a 35mm British release print in very-good to excellent condition, with only very light speckling and emulsion chipping until some moderate decomposition is seen about ten minutes into the film. New digital titles have been generated to replace (we assume) the decomposed original intertitles. The finale of the film appears to have succumbed to decomposition since it ends abruptly. Mont Alto member Rodney Sauer provides accompaniment on piano for the supplemental films.

Also included is “The Transformation Scene,” a circa 1909 audio recording by Len Spencer as released by Columbia Records [A389] (3 minutes).

Added to the supplemental material on this new Kino edition is Thanhouser’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912), a film often included in other home video editions of silent era Jekyll and Hyde productions. The film has been mastered from a very-good 35mm Blackhawk Films preservation print. The supplemental material by Bret Wood and Rodney Sauer that were part of the 2001 Kino edition are absent here.

With its updated video transfer and the addition of missing footage, this new Kino edition is now the best available DVD edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde available. Of Kino’s two new discs, we only slightly prefer the Blu-ray Disc over the new DVD. With the lack of sharp detail in much of the 35mm preservation print, a comparison of the BD and DVD discs is pretty much of a push. Collectors who do not have a BD player will not miss much in the new DVD edition, which is a noticeable improvement over the 2001 Kino edition.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Kino on Video
2001 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), color-toned black & white, 73 minutes, not rated,
with Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925), black & white, 21 minutes, not rated, and exerpts from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K217, UPC 7-38329-02172-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 12 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $29.95 (reduced to $19.95).
DVD release date: 9 October 2001.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 8 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.

A previously-released DVD edition, prepared for home video by David Shepard’s Film Preservation Associates, was released in 1999 through Image Entertainment. Our first agenda item was to compare this Kino edition to the Image edition.

First, there is greater image detail in the Kino edition, the result of a new video transfer from a 35mm release print. We have been told that Shepard’s edition was transferred from a 16mm reduction print. We cannot confirm this and think that the Shepard source material was either an older 35mm dupe positive or a Blackhawk Films 16mm reduction print. The Shepard edition is slightly windowboxed where the Kino edition is full-frame video transfer, making the images slightly larger on-screen. The Kino edition shows slightly more of the top of the image frame, while it reveals slightly less information on the sides and bottom of the picture than the Shepard edition on some televisions.

We think that both the Kino and Shepard editions initially derived from the same original 35mm source material as some print flaws appear to be the same in both editions. The 35mm source print of the Kino edition is flecked with moderate speckling, a fine patina of scuffing, scratches, other damage, and the beginnings of light filmstock decomposition. Overall, the print is in very-good condition and is quite watchable.

Close inspection of the Kino edition picture reveals that the DVD resolution seems to be lower than usual. Any still frame inspection reveals visible MPEG compression artifacts, with visible aliasing of diagonal lines and blocky checkerboard variations in the rendering of similar colors and edge details. The effect is similar to that of an over-compressed JPEG image on a PC. The artifacts were quite visible on a projection television system when viewed from a distance of 15 feet or less, but were nearly undetectable on smaller televisions. However, there is greater apparent image detail, than that of the Shepard edition, when the Kino edition picture is in full motion due to the greater detail of the 35mm source material. Shadow details are clearer in the Kino edition, particularly in later shots of Jekyll’s dark laboratory where more background information can be seen. If you don't look too closely the Kino edition features a far more detailed and pleasing image than that of the Shepard edition.

The Kino edition is missing footage that is in the Shepard edition; that being directly after the intertitle introducing Brandon Hurst as Sir George Carew. In the Shepard edition, the footage begins with a shot of Carew reading a gossip newspaper followed by an inset shot of the newspaper item beginning, “What has hapened to the eyesight of the elderly Duke of X —?,” which then returns to the shot of Carew. A medium-long shot follows showing Martha Mansfield coming down the stairs in the background and into the foyer. An intertitle introduces Mansfield as Millicent, followed by an establishing close-up of her. Carew turns his attention back to his paper, while Millicent talks to a butler. She then enters the parlor where Carew has risen from his paper. She asks him about her dress and he points to her bouquet she holds. An intertitle reads, “These are from Dr. Jekyll,” followed by a reaction shot and they turn, obviously hearing the arrival of guests. An intertitle introduces J. Malcolm Dunn as John Utterson, and is followed by a shot of the standing butler and Utterson entering the parlor. Utterson greets Millicent and Carew. He excuses himself and Millicent and Utterson sit. A close-up shows Carew’s hand placing the gossip newspaper in a desk drawer, followed by a return to the two-shot. An intertitle reads, “Have you seen anything of Dr. Jekyll lately?” Utterson shakes his head and an intertitle reads, “Between his laboratory and his poor, Jekyll hasn’t much time for his friends.” Millicent begins speaking and an intertitle reads, “But isn’t it wonderful of him to devote so much of his life to other people?” Millicent looks at her flowers and they continue talking until a jump cut to a shot of Jekyll caring for a boy with bandages on his arm and foot, whom he carries into his treatment room. Jekyll sits and begins writing notes at his desk. A close-up of the boy patient looking around the room is followed by a close-up of the nurse tending to instruments. The boy looks around again and back to the busy nurse and back around the room. A close-up of Jekyll at his desk shows him wrapping a note to be delivered by a waiting boy. An intertitle reads, “Take this at once to Sir George Carew.” The delivery boy leaves and Jekyll turns. The little patient is seen again in close-up. Jekyll offers the boy a treat, which he takes and puts in his mouth. Jekyll begins removing bandages from the boy’s arm and the shot fades to black. The entire sequence lasts from 6:21 through 10:21. Later, the Shepard edition leaves in a second (redundant) intertitle introducing Mansfield (again).

More missing footage begins as Gina the dancer tells Hyde the story of the poison ring. In the Shepard edition we see: Fade up on a medium shot of four people seated at a table in a large room in mediaeval Italy. Cut to a two-shot of a young couple obviously in love. He touches her arm. Cut to a two-shot of the other two men at the table, watching the young lovers. An irised close-up shows the poison ring on the older man’s hand, which he pulls off his finger. Back to the two-shot as he hands the ring to the other stern-looking man. Cut to the two-shot of the couple and back again to the two men. The stern-looking man takes the ring, opens its compartment, and pours poison into a glass of wine. A brief shot of the couple shows a hand taking a wine glass out of frame. Cut back to the conspirators. The stern-looking man offers the poisoned wine to the young suitor, who accepts it and raises it in toast to his love. Cut to a reaction shot of the conspirators who raise their glasses as well. Cut back to the two-shot of the lovers and the suitor drinks the wine. Cut to a medium shot of the whole table as all the men drink their toast. The young suitor reacts almost immediately to the poison and turns his head toward the conspirators. Here is where the footage is taken up by the Kino edition. The Shepard sequence lasts from 36:08 through 37:24. The upshot is that the story of the ring in the Kino edition is reduced to the dying young suitor looking at his poisoners and collapsing; end of story.

The footage missing from the Kino edition accounts for more than five minutes of the six-minute difference in the two editions’ running times.

In 2001, Kino International began leading the way with the inclusion of supplemental items on silent film DVDs, which normally have been nothing more than the film and a scene selection menu. Included on this DVD is “The Transformation Scene,” a circa 1909 audio recording by Len Spencer as released by Columbia Records [A389]. A helpful transcription of the verbal performance appears onscreen to aid the listener in deciphering this historical 78 RPM acoustical recording.

Next are exerpts from the Pioneer Film Corp. (Louis B. Mayer) 1920 feature starring Sheldon Lewis that was left off the Shepard DVD edition but was part of the 1991 Kino VHS edition. The Lewis adaptation was a knock-off version of the Stevenson story made quickly for sale on the State Rights market before the release of the Barrymore version. This Kino DVD features a new transfer of the Lewis exerpts from a rough 16mm reduction print and includes more footage than was included in the 1991 VHS edition. The transfer is not windowboxed like the original VHS transfer.

A silly two-reeler parody Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (1925) starring Stan Laurel follows next. The film was transferred from a 35mm British release print in very-good to excellent condition, with only very light speckling and emulsion chipping until some moderate decomposition is seen about ten minutes into the film. New digital titles have been generated to replace (we assume) the decomposed original intertitles. The finale of the film appears to have succumbed to decomposition since it ends abruptly.

The DVD extras also include an essay “The Many Faces of Jekyll/Hyde” by Bret Wood, including contemporary reviews, photos and advertisements, and scant information on the music score compiled by Rodney Sauer. This includes a listing of the music scores that were utilized, grouped by chapter selection and listed by title and year of publication. With only a few exceptions, the music is contemporary to the film’s early 1920 release.

Which leads us to the musical accompaniment on this Kino edition. We find that small orchestras and theatre pipe organs provide the most-pleasing accompaniment of silent era films on home video. And the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra has provided another wonderful performance by its five-musician small orchestra. The music is stiringly performed and is well recorded. The score has been thoughtfully compiled and always is a compliment to the action or emotion of the scene. We continue to applaud the trend toward better musical accompaniment of silent films on home video. We think the higher level of music quality is well worth the economic investment. Mont Alto member Rodney Sauer provides accompaniment on piano for the supplemental films.

Although this disc is missing more than five minutes of footage available elsewhere and the image is overcompressed, we still marginally prefer it over the aforementioned Shepard edition which suffers from a slightly contrasty and soft picture. It is a pity that the missing footage could not have been replaced from another (even 16mm) source print. The sharp picture, the supplemental materials and the musical accompaniment, however, all make this disc a good buy.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Image Entertainment
1999 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), color-toned black & white, 79 minutes, not rated,
with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912) [exerpt], black & white, 4 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID4667DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-46672-0.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 13 chapter stops, snapper DVD case, $24.99.
DVD release date: 12 January 1999.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 4 / additional content: 3 / overall: 6.

An examination of the video transfer on this Image disc first reveals an open image framing, allowing generous space around intertitles and the tops of heads. The moderately speckled print utilized for the transfer appears to be a duplicate 35mm copy print (most likely prepared for Blackhawk Films), as it is soft of image detail throughout, and the picture exposure from frame to frame fluctuates from time to time. We have been told that a 16mm reduction print was utilized for this edition. While we can’t confirm this, the print is for the most part a little too contrasty, with backgrounds at times too dark to the point of being entirely plugged-up — all characteristics of 16mm prints. Some shots are overexposed to the point where highlights are lost. Occasional faint signs of print decomposition are also seen.

The monaural organ music score by Gaylord Carter is an aged but adequate accompaniment to the film. Our biggest complaint of this edition is the disc’s compromised audio quality, which perceptively wows audibly in the latter half of the film. The sound also is oddly edited, fading down with the fade-outs at the ends of scenes. A distracting fault of this David Shepard-produced edition, which gives the presentation a cobbled-together feeling.

It is also confusing why the 1912 Thanhouser version exerpt is the only supplementary material on this DVD. Previous home video editions from David Shepard (released by Kino International on VHS videotape) featured not only the complete Thanhouser one-reel version (with fragments missing) but also five minutes of exerpts from Louis B. Mayer’s feature length version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920). On the DVD, the verbose Blackhawk Films written introduction to the Thanhouser exerpt is longer than the transformation exerpt itself.

Altogether, the disc is of moderately good quality, suffering only from an older video transfer and the substandard audio quality of the musical accompaniment, the print includes over five minutes worth of footage not present in Kino International’s 2001 edition on DVD noted above. We still recommend the disc as long as collectors are aware of its shortcomings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Alpha Video
2002 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 82 minutes, not rated.

Alpha Video, ALP 4038D, UPC 0-89218-40389-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.98.
DVD release date: 27 August 2002.
Country of origin: USA
We have not viewed this disc, but we suspect that it has been mastered from a 16mm reduction print based on the other cheap editions that rip-off this video transfer that runs 82 minutes instead of the 96 minutes promised on the disc’s packaging.

The film may be accompanied by a pipe organ music score.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Miracle Pictures
2002 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 82 minutes, not rated.

Miracle Pictures, no catalog number, UPC 0-90328-30132-3.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono? sound, English language intertitles, foreign language subtitles, 8 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested list price.
DVD release date: late 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This budget edition is identical to the Alpha Video edition noted above since it pirates the Alpha video transfer, which is identified by the logotype of the main title that replaces the opening titles of a Blackhawk Films home collector print. That source print appears to be a 16mm reduction print that is of similar quality, with its reasonable image detail and greytone range, to the many of the other editions reviewed here.

The disc features a pipe organ musical accompaniment and is, at least, watchable throughout its 82-minute running time despite being noted on the packaging as running 96 minutes.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark at right to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD of this edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Delta Entertainment
2004 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Delta Entertainment, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered? DVD disc, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, foreign language subtitles?, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.99.
DVD release date: 24 February 2004.
Country of origin: USA
We have not viewed this disc, which has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.

It is likely that the film is accompanied by a soundtrack of preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Madacy Entertainment
2003 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 83 minutes, not rated.

Madacy Entertainment, FFF9 9377, UPC 0-56775-09369-3.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 9 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.98.
DVD release date: 4 March 2003.
Country of origin: Canada

Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 4 / additional content: 2 / overall: 3.

This budget edition from Madacy reveals a window-boxed video transfer of a good to very-good 16mm reduction print, with some sections faring better than others as some shot are excessively light. The print has a number of quite-visible original splices and is contrasty, but with a moderately-good greyscale range nonetheless. The print also has soft image details which sometimes look outright blurry, and some dust and speckling, as is the case with most 16mm prints, but overall the disc is watchable.

The film is accompanied by a pipe organ music score that has been cobbled together from preexisting classical recordings — complete with silences between tracks.

Madacy throws in a few lame supplemental items, which shouldn’t be an attraction for anyone — but, overall, this disc is marginally better than much of the previous poor Madacy silent film product.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Front Row Entertainment
2003 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 82 minutes, not rated.

Front Row Entertainment, 3753, UPC 0-82554-37532-2.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 8 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $5.98.
DVD release date: 2003.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 4 / additional content: 0 / overall: 3.

Although we cannot substantiate our assumption yet, we think that this video transfer is identical to that released by Alpha Video. It has been transferred full-frame from a Blackhawk Films print, which appears to be 16mm. Picture details are a little soft and slightly constrasty, with light speckling and dust, but more so than other Front Row editions this disc is at least watchable. Most of the original Paramount intertitles have been allowed to stay in the print, some have replaced by Blackhawk titles. Ultimately, the image quality is about the same as other editions based on the Blackhawk material.

The presentation features a canned mono pipe organ and orchestral music score that is rather hissy but passable.

Don’t be misled by the packaging’s statement, “Digitally Remastered for Superior Quality,” the picture is soft and blurry. What can you say about a company that can’t even spell the title of the film correctly?
St. Clair Vision
2008 DVD edition

Silent Classics (1920-1927), black & white, 294 minutes total, not rated,
including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

St. Clair Vision, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono? sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 15 April 2008.
Country of origin: USA
This edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
BoYing
200? DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), color-toned? black & white, 67 minutes, not rated.

BoYing, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono? sound, English language intertitles, Chinese language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested list price.
DVD release date: 200?.
Country of origin: China
This Chinese edition is likely of similar quality to the Image edition noted above since it appears to be based on the US edition from Image. The disc has shown up for sale in the US through eBay.
Dollar Entertainment
2004 DVD edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), black & white, 67 minutes, not rated,
with King of the Zombies (1941), black & white, 67 minutes, not rated.

Dollar Entertainment, no catalog number, UPC 8-26831-20041-5.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono? sound, English language intertitles, Chinese language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested list price.
DVD release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 4 / additional content: 4 / overall: 3.

This cheap edition has been transferred from a 16mm good reduction print that is, at times, soft, dark and featureless in its shadow details.

The film is presented without opening titles or credits.

The disc was offered in cheapy dollar-store outlets.
Other silent era JOHN BARRYMORE films available on home video.

Other HORROR FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
 

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