Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Hyde: John Barrymore
Millicent Carew: Martha Mansfield
Sir George Carew: Brandon Hurst
Dr. Richard Lanyon: Charles Lane
Edward Enfield: Cecil Clovelly
Directed: John S. Robertson
"In each of us, two natures are at war--the good and the
evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of
them must conquer. But in our hands lies the power to choose--what
we want most to be, we are."
Dr. Lanyon visits Dr. Jekyll and objects to
his microscopic investigations: "Damn it! I don't like it!
You're tampering with the supernatural!" Jekyll visits
his clinic, a "human repair shop." Meanwhile, an odious
Sir George Carew awaits Jekyll with a table of guests and his
daughter Millicent. Carew is suspicious: "No man could be
as good as he looks." He badgers Jekyll once he does arrive:
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."
He sneers at Jekyll's self-denial, insisting he "should
live!" He takes Jekyll to a seedy nightclub where the
dancer, Miss Gina" entertains and comes on to Jekyll.
Jekyll had "awakened" to his "baser
nature," apparently, and begins wondering about the two impulses
being housed separately, but a friend says, "that's sacrilege.
Man would be both God and Devil!"
But he proceeds, drinks, is transformed. He
looks demented and his hands are elongated. He restores himself
quickly. But with a mirror brought to the lab, "Hyde set
forth on a sea of license." Hyde visits Miss Gina and learns
of a ring she owns which was once used to store poison. Meanwhile,
Millicent is turning down the proposal from a suitor.
Jekyll makes Hyde his beneficiary in his will.
Hyde leaves a trail "strewn with the victims of his
He throws Gina out. Jekyll is bored with Millicent's piano noodlings,
but resolves to be true, and Hyde disappears for a while. Hyde
"long caged burst forth" though, visiting a seedy bar
and finding a new girl. Gina appears haggard. While the Carews
are concerned about "Jekyll's disappearance," Hyde tramples
a boy, is pursued, flithers through papers in Jekyll's lab, and
brings a check to the victim's family." Jekyll realizes
that his "evil nature . . . threatened to dominate his whole
Carew questions Jekyll about the Hyde connection
and objects to his intended marriage with Millicent. Jekyll blames
Carew, whose cynicism "made me ashamed of my goodness."
He transforms involuntarily, beats Carew to death, and flees.
Police search Soho, while another draught brings back Jekyll.
But "outraged Nature took her hideous revenge": while
asleep, an illusory giant tarantula creeps onto Jekyll, and he
transforms into Hyde involuntarily again. He soon has run out
of the drug to restore Jekyll, so as Jekyll, he locks himself
in the lab and sends his servant Poole to chemists. He prays
Millicent comes to the door. He turns into
Hyde and attacks her, but has some kind of seizure as she escapes.
Hyde turns into Jekyll in death--he had taken poison from Gina's
ring in suicidal desperation. Millicent is told that "Hyde
has killed Jekyll."
Initially, Barrymore contorts his face for the transformation,
but eventually more make-up and physical deformities are added.
This Hyde is made to look like a tarantula, or as James Twitchell
says in Dreadful Pleasures, "rather like an albino
coconut with dark bangs" (246). Twitchell also notes that
the "splitting of the female role at last allows us to see
what was lurking in Stevenson's text; Hyde's aggression is sexual
and its object is displaced from Jekyll's porcelain madonna to
the fleshy tramp" (247), but he finds the spider image inappropriate
to what should be Hyde's virility.