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Music for Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hide — Maurizio Giammarco

Music for Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hide

Performed by Maurizio Giammarco ENSEMBLE

A new soundtrack, entirely composed by M.Giammarco and performed live by an ensemble of six musicians, accompanies the screening of the film Dr.Jekill and Mr.Hyde by J.S.Robertson, a classic silent movie made famous by the interpretation of the legendary John Barrymore, very popular at that time. The structure of the soundtrack, which alternates written parts with moments of extemporaneous commentary, creates a musical story as punctual as it is strongly evocative. The popularity and suggestion of this particular and well-known cinematographic subject is reflected in the compositional style adopted by the author, where different elements coexist freely drawing on the scenarios of the contemporary soundscape (jazz, rock, contemporary music, improvisation). The project, originally commissioned by the Cooperative Massenzio for the Lingomania group (back in 1987), was subsequently revised and performed in other locations.

The Movie:

Direction: John S.Barrymore
Subject: from the R.L.Stevenson novel
First screening: April 30, 1920
Length: 63’
Characters and interpreters: John Barrymore (Dr. Jekill e Mr.Hyde); Martha Mansfield (Millicent Carew); Brandon Hurst (Sir George Carew); Charles Lane (Dr. Richard Lanyon); J.Malcom Dunn (John Utterly); Cecil Clovelly (Edward Enfield); Nita Naldi (Gina); George Stevens (Poole).
Film script: Clara S.Beranger
Shooting: Roy Overbaugh
Scenography: Robert Haas e Clark Robinson
Production: Adolphe Zukor per la Famous Players – Lasky Corp
Distribution: Famous Players-Lasky Corp. E Paramount-Artcraft Pictures

Of the approximately twenty film transpositions of the famous Stevenson novel, this is the first of the most famous and important, and contains all the main elements on which will be based the subsequent and more known versions with Frederik March of the ’30s and Spencer Tracy of the’ 50. The film is above all a perfect medium for the talents of the actor John Barrymore – main performer and in this case true co-author – famous for being able to achieve a very effective Hyde resorting more to the mere facial expression that the resources of makeup. The rather modern idea of the Robertson-Barrymore version, is to highlight the characters from the psychological point of view, a novelty for the era and the type of film, which makes the film a little slow in the beginning, but contributes to a great finale. The film had a great success with critics and audiences at the time, and helped to consolidate the Barrymore myth.