The Law of Contact

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (January 16, 1912)

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
 

Released on January 16, 1912: An eleven minute silent motion picture about the Robert Louis Stevenson horror story.

Produced by Edwin Thanhouser

Directed by Lucius Henderson

The Actors: James Cruze (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Florence La Badie (Dr. Jekyll's girlfriend, the Minister's daughter), Marie Eline (little girl), Jane Gail (unknown), Marguerite Snow (unknown), Harry Benham (Mr. Hyde in one scene)

 
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Dr-Jekyll-and-Mr-Hyde-1912.mp4 (77mb - 720x540)
Dr-Jekyll-and-Mr-Hyde-1912-1280x960.mp4 (151mb - 1280x960)

Good and Evil . . . and Flop Sweat

When I was in high school I was part of a group that was challenged to put on a short humorous skit, and I chose to act out what I thought would be a funny spoof on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When I got to the punch line I quickly ducked behind a screen and grabbed a handful of different colored markers, quickly spreading a rainbow of colors across my face - this was supposed to be the terrible transformation - at least my young mind thought it would do the trick. I don't remember what my speaking lines were leading up to the transformation or the punch line after I was transformed, but I remember thinking that it would certainly be hilarious. When I popped back out with a multi-colored face quickly saying the punch line of the skit expecting roars of laughter, instead I met dead silence as the kids in the audience had absolutely no idea why I had painted my face so crudely or said what I did. I didn't know that it had a name back in those days, but I experienced what performers call 'flop sweat' - the perspiration born of disaster in the spot light with nowhere to hide. It didn't take me long after that unforgettable experience to decide that I was more at home watching actors than being one. This quick one-reel movie skit about the horror of a doctor in love becoming a killer beast who would murder his future father-in-law somehow reminded me of my Jekyll and Hyde skit so long ago. Hopefully it will not remind you of a disaster in your past, but rather bring ten minutes of enjoyment and wonder at one of the earliest motion pictures that dazzled audiences over a hundred years ago. Pop a small bowl of popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

James Cruze turns into Mr. Hyde
James Cruze turns into Mr. Hyde
Florence La Badie and James Cruze in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Florence La Badie and James Cruze in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Florence La Badie in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Florence La Badie in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
James Cruze and Florence La Badie
James Cruze and Florence La Badie
James Cruze gets a note from his servant
James Cruze gets a note from his servant
James Cruze, as Dr. Jekyll, feels the drugs changing him into a monster
James Cruze, as Dr. Jekyll, feels the drugs changing him into a monster
Dr. Jekyll mixes the chemicals that will turn him into a monster
Dr. Jekyll mixes the chemicals that will turn him into a monster
James Cruze
James Cruze
James Cruze sits in the chair waiting to transform into Mr. Hyde
James Cruze sits in the chair waiting to transform into Mr. Hyde
Marie Eline
Marie Eline
James Cruze as Mr. Hyde
James Cruze as Mr. Hyde