Mr. Barrymore and Mr. Hyde
April 20, 2020
John Barrymore’s Silent JEKYLL & HYDE Classic Gets a Modern New Score – Released by MSM
MovieScore Media celebrates the 100th anniversary of the acclaimed silent horror classic DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE with the label’s first ever silent score release with music composed by Jason Frederick. Directed by John S. Robertson based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE was an early classic of silent horror cinema with John Barrymore giving a performance of a lifetime as he played both the hero and the monster with minimal make-up, only through facial mimicry and wild body contortions. A major success for its distributor Paramount, MovieScore Media’s digital release is timed to the 100th year anniversary of the movie’s premiere in Los Angeles, which took place on April 12, 1920.
“I’ve been a fan of this film for as long as I can remember, and when the opportunity came to create a new score for something from cinema’s silent era, there was never any doubt as to what I would choose,” recalls Jason Frederick about the project. “I immediately heard the main motif for Jekyll and Hyde which forms the basis for the score, and represents both halves of the character, his nobility and purity of spirit balanced with the darker instincts he tries (and ultimately fails) to control. This theme is at the heart of the tragedy of Jekyll’s struggle, brought to life by Mary Felgate’s wonderful violin – lovely, lyrical and completely psychotic in equal measure when called for. I also incorporated a good deal of found objects like steam irons radio static and various sources of noise to produce a sonic environment that’s scratchy and dusty much like old Victorian photographs are.”
Canadian-born composer Jason Frederick studied film scoring under Christopher Young, David Raksin, and Elmer Bernstein at the USC Thornton School of Music. Since then, he has been involved with a number of projects, including the recently updated version of the classic documentary BELA LUGOSI: THE FORGOTTEN KING. Frederick is currently working on two other classic horror scores to premiere in 2021—the non-silent early classic horror films WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) and THE VAMPIRE BAT (1933).
For more details, to sample tracks, or to order, see moviescoremedia