• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 American silent horror film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and released through Paramount/Artcraft. The film, which stars John Barrymore, is an adaptation of the 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. John S. Robertson directed the production, and Clara Beranger wrote the screenplay, based on the 1887 stage play by Thomas Russell Sullivan that in turn was based on the novel.Original release date: March 28, 1920

    The story, set in late Victorian London, portrays the tragic consequences of a doctor's experiments in separating the dual personalities he thinks define all humans: one good, the other evil.Henry Jekyll (John Barrymore) is a doctor of medicine living and working in London in the late 1880s. When he is not treating the poor in his free clinic, he is in his laboratory experimenting. Sir George Carew (Brandon Hurst), the father of Jekyll’s fiancé Millicent (Martha Mansfield), is suspicious of the young doctor’s intentions and often irritated by his tardiness and high-mindedness. 'No man', Carew observes, 'could be as good as he looks.' Following dinner one evening, Carew taunts his prospective son-in-law in front of their mutual friends and debates with him about the causes and effects of a person's personality, insisting that every man is fundamentally composed of two 'selves' who are in continual conflict. 'A man cannot destroy the savage in him by denying its impulses', instructs Carew. 'The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.'Reflecting on Sir George's comments, Jekyll begins his research and experiments into separating the two basic natures of man, the good and the evil.Directed by John S. RobertsonProduced by Adolph Zukor & Jesse L. LaskyWritten by Clara Beranger & Thomas Russell Sullivan (1887 stage play)Based on Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonCastJohn Barrymore as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde/giant spider in dreamBrandon Hurst as Sir George CareweMartha Mansfield as Millicent Carewe, Sir George's daughterCharles Willis Lane as Dr. Richard LanyonCecil Clovelly as Edward EnfieldNita Naldi as Gina, the Italian exotic dancerLouis Wolheim as music hall proprietorUncreditedJ. Malcolm Dunn as John UttersonGeorge Stevens as Poole, Jekyll's butlerAlma Aiken as distraught woman in Jekyll's officeJulia Hurley[8] as Hyde's old landladyEdgard Varèse as policemanBlanche Ring as woman with elderly man in music hallFerdinand Gottschalk as elderly man in music hallMay Robson as old harridan standing outside music hall

  • Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (German: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) is a 1922 silent German Expressionist horror film directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok, a vampire with an interest in both a new residence and the wife (Greta Schröder) of his estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim). The film is an unauthorized and unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

    Original release date: March 4, 1922

    In 1838, in the fictional German town of Wisborg, Thomas Hutter is sent to Transylvania by his employer, estate agent Herr Knock, to visit a new client named Count Orlok who plans to buy a house across Hutter's own home. While embarking on his journey, Hutter stops at an inn where the locals become frightened by the mere mention of Orlok's name. What ensues on his journey explains why.

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (German: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. The film features a dark and twisted visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving lines, structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles, and shadows and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets. Original air date: 26 February 1920.

    The script was inspired by various experiences from the lives of Janowitz and Mayer, both pacifists who were left distrustful of authority after their experiences with the military during World War I. The film makes use of a frame story, with a prologue and epilogue which, in a twist ending, reveals the main narrative is actually the delusion of a madman. Janowitz has said this device was forced upon the writers against their will. The film's design was handled by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Röhrig, who recommended a fantastic, graphic style over a naturalistic one.

     

    The film thematizes brutal and irrational authority. Writers and scholars have argued the film reflects a subconscious need in German society for a tyrant, and is an example of Germany's obedience to authority and unwillingness to rebel against deranged authority. Some critics have interpreted Caligari as representing the German war government, with Cesare symbolic of the common man conditioned, like soldiers, to kill. Other themes of the film include the destabilized contrast between insanity and sanity, the subjective perception of reality, and the duality of human nature.

     

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was released just as foreign film industries were easing restrictions on the import of German films following World War I, so it was screened internationally. Accounts differ as to its financial and critical success upon release, but modern film critics and historians have largely praised it as a revolutionary film. Critic Roger Ebert called it arguably 'the first true horror film', and film reviewer Danny Peary called it cinema's first cult film and a precursor for arthouse films. Considered a classic, it helped draw worldwide attention to the artistic merit of German cinema and had a major influence on American films, particularly in the genres of horror and film noir.

The Phantom of the Opera (1929)

The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. The film remains most famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere. Original release date: November 15, 1925.

The picture also features Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland, John St. Polis and Snitz Edwards.

PLOT

The film opens with the debut of the new season at the Paris Opera House, with a production of Gounod’s Faust. Comte Philippe de Chagny and his brother, the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny are in attendance. Raoul is there only in the hope of hearing his sweetheart Christine Daaé sing. Christine has made a sudden rise from the chorus to understudy of Mme. Carlotta, the prima donna. Raoul visits her in her dressing room during an interval in the performance, and makes his intentions known that he wishes for Christine to resign and marry him. Christine refuses to let their relationship get in the way of her career.

At the height of the most prosperous season in the Opera’s history, the management suddenly resign. As they leave, they tell the new managers of the Opera Ghost, a phantom who is “the occupant of box No. 5,” among other things. The new managers laugh it off as a joke, but the old management leaves, troubled.

After the performance, the ballerinas are disturbed by the sight of a mysterious man in a fez prowling down in the cellars, and they wonder if he is the Phantom. Meanwhile, Mme. Carlotta, the prima donna, has received a letter from “The Phantom,” demanding that Christine sing the role of Marguerite the following night, threatening dire consequences if his demands are not met. In Christine’s dressing room, an unseen voice warns Christine that she must take Carlotta’s place on Wednesday and that she is to think only of her career and her master.

The following day, in a garden near the Opera House, Raoul meets Christine and asks her to reconsider his offer. Christine admits that she has been tutored by a divine voice, the “Spirit of Music,” and that it is now impossible to stop her career. Raoul tells her that he thinks someone is playing a joke on her, and she storms off in anger.

Wednesday evening, Christine takes Carlotta’s place in the opera. During the performance, the managers enter Box 5 and are startled to see a shadowy figure seated there, who soon disappears when they are not looking. Later, Simon Buquet finds the body of his brother, stagehand Joseph Buquet, hanging by a noose and vows vengeance. Carlotta receives another peremptory note from the Phantom. Once again, he demands that she say she is ill and let Christine take on her role. The managers get a similar note, reiterating that if Christine does not sing, they will present Faust in a house with a curse on it.

The Phantom (Lon Chaney), and Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin)
The following evening, despite the Phantom’s warnings, a defiant Carlotta appears as Marguerite. During the performance, the large crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling is dropped onto the audience. Christine enters a secret door behind the mirror in her dressing room, descending into the lower depths of the Opera. She meets the Phantom, who introduces himself as Erik and declares his love; Christine faints, and Erik carries her to a suite fabricated for her comfort. The next day, she finds a note from Erik telling her that she is free to come and go as she pleases, but that she must never look behind his mask. Christine sneaks up behind the Phantom and tears off his mask, revealing his deformed skull-like face. Enraged, the Phantom declares that she is now his prisoner. She pleads with him to sing again, and he relents, allowing her to visit the surface one last time.

Released from underground, Christine makes a rendezvous with Raoul at the annual masked-ball, at which the Phantom appears in the guise of the “Red-Death”. Raoul and Christine flee to the roof of the Opera House, where she tells him about her experiences under the Opera House. Unbeknownst to them, the Phantom is listening nearby. Raoul plans to whisk Christine safely away to London following the next performance. As they leave the roof, the mysterious man with the fez approaches them. Aware that the Phantom is waiting downstairs, he leads Christine and Raoul to another exit.

The following evening, during her performance, Christine is kidnapped by the Phantom. Raoul rushes to her dressing room, and meets the man in the fez, who reveals himself to be Inspector Ledoux, a secret policeman who has been tracking Erik since he escaped as a prisoner from Devil’s Island. Ledoux reveals the secret door in Christine’s room and the two men enter the catacombs of the Opera House in an attempt to rescue Christine. They fall into the Phantom’s dungeon, a torture room of his design. Philippe has also found his way into the catacombs looking for his brother. Phillipe is drowned by Erik, who returns to find the two men in the torture chamber.

The Phantom subjects the two prisoners to intense heat; the two manage to escape the chamber by opening a door in the floor. In the chamber below, the Phantom shuts a gate, locking them in with barrels full of gunpowder. Christine begs the Phantom to save Raoul, promising him anything in return, even becoming his wife. At the last second, the Phantom opens a trapdoor in his floor through which Raoul and Ledoux are saved.

A mob led by Simon infiltrates the Phantom’s lair. As the mob approaches, the Phantom attempts to flee with Christine in a carriage meant for Raoul and Christine. While Raoul saves Christine, the Phantom is thrown by the mob into the River Seine, where he drowns. In a brief epilogue, Raoul and Christine are shown on their honeymoon in Viroflay.

CREATORS

Directed by Rupert Julian
Screenplay by Walter Anthony, Elliott J. Clawson, Bernard McConville, Frank M. McCormack, Tom Reed, Raymond L. Schrock, Jasper Spearing, and Richard Wallace
Based on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Produced by Carl Laemmle
Music by Gustav Hinrichs

CAST

Lon Chaney as The Phantom
Mary Philbin as Christine Daaé
Norman Kerry as Vicomte Raoul de Chagny
Arthur Edmund Carewe as Ledoux
Gibson Gowland as Simon Buquet
John St. Polis (credited as John Sainpolis) as Comte Philippe de Chagny
Snitz Edwards as Florine Papillon
Virginia Pearson as Carlotta
Pearson played Carlotta’s mother in the reshoot segments of the 1930 partial talkie reissue
Mary Fabian played a talking Carlotta in the reshoot segments of the 1930 partial talkie reissue
Uncredited
Bernard Siegel as Joseph Buquet
Edward Martindel as Comte Phillipe de Chagny
for the reshoot segments of the 1930 partial talkie reissue
Joseph Belmont as a stage manager
Alexander Bevani as Méphistophélès
Edward Cecil as Faust
Ruth Clifford as ballerina
Roy Coulson as the Jester
George Davis as The guard outside Christine’s door
Madame Fiorenza as Madame Giry, keeper of the box
Cesare Gravina as a retiring manager
Bruce Covington as Monsieur Moncharmin
William Humphrey as Monsieur Debienne
George B Williams as Monsieur Ricard
Carla Laemmle as Meg Giry
Grace Marvin as Martha
John Miljan as Valéntin
Rolfe Sedan as an undetermined role
William Tracy as the Ratcatcher, the messenger from the shadows
Anton Vaverka as Prompter
Julius Harris as Gaffer

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