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Summary

James Cruze featured as Jekyll/Hyde in this second U.S. film version of the classic novel by Robert Lewis Stevenson. This famous tale, made even more sensational by Richard Mansfield's stage performance, was filmed in at least nine silent versions. Thanhouser's was the second U. S. film version, after William Selig's production in 1908, but was the first based on the stage adaptation. The Thanhouser version downplays the horror element in favor of the thematic conflict between the good and evil sides of one personality. Perhaps unique among all Jekyll/Hyde adaptations is using two actors to portray the two aspects of the same character. The credits list James Cruze in both parts, but Harry Benham played the crazed Hyde in several scenes, simplifying production. Transformation trickery was done with careful cuts and quick in-camera dissolves with no changes in lighting.

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