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(Review originally written at 22 February 2008)

'20's comedies weren't exactly known for their pace, polished style of film-making or true originality. They mostly were movies featuring slapstick moments, without having even a well constructed story. "Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde" also doesn't really have a story and is mostly about Stan Laurel jumping and running around and acting in an extremely childish way as Mr. Pryde. It however is done so well and due to Stan Laurel's skills it becomes a very enjoyable early comedy from the silent era.

It's a well directed movie with lots of pace and there is always something happening. The movie might begin a bit slow and certainly standard but the moment Mr. Pryde kicks in, the movie becomes a greatly entertaining one, as well as original.

The movie of course is an humorous take on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's however not really a spoof of the 1920 movie "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", staring John Barrymore. The movie takes its own course and basically has little to do with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, other than that it features a scientist who after drinking a potion turns into an evil vicious man.

Well, not really evil or vicious, more extremely childish, for Mr. Pryde executes some extremely childish practical jokes. It's however its childish naivety and Stan Laurel's performance of it that makes this movie so effective as a comedy.

'20's comedy shorts don't get much better than this!

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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