Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men - a good and an evil side. He believes that by separating the two man can become liberated. He succeeds in his experiments with chemicals to accomplish this and transforms into Hyde to commit horrendous crimes. When he discontinues use of the drug it is already too late...Written by
Mark J. Popp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There has been much confusion in the ensuing decades as to which year this film was released. Technically, it's premiere occurred on December 31, 1931, but this was the last day of the year and the film played for many months afterward, so it is most often cited as having been released in 1932. See more »
In the opening scene, as Jekyll looks into the mirror through the subjective camera, his "reflection" turns away from the mirror before the camera, (supposedly Jekyll's viewpoint) does. See more »
You should go out, sir. London offers many amusements for a gentlemen like you, sir.
Yes, but gentlemen like me daren't take advantage of them, Poole. Gentlemen like me have to be very careful of what we do and say.
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The infamous Miriam Hopkins nude scene, missing even from the restored Turner Classics version on VHS, is fully restored in the DVD release. This widely censored scene includes a single nude shot, lasting perhaps five seconds, of Miriam Hopkins as Ivy getting into bed during her first meeting with Jekyll. The DVD also restores the film's original Paramount opening logo (previous video release opened with the MGM logo.) See more »
The most significant horror film of 1931? Some say "Dracula" or "Frankenstein." I think "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is another surefire contender
While the titles "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" are the most popular surefire contenders for the most revolutionary horror film of 1931, I would strongly argue that the adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's story "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is another title to be considered. This film is not only significant in the fact that it's one of only two movies for there to be a tie between two actors in receiving the Academy Award for Best Leading Actor, but it's revolutionary in its visual effects and Fredric March's portrayal of a ferocious two-sided madman and the effect he has on the people around him as he jumps between sides.
It's because of this film that many are familiar with the story of Jekyll and Hyde. And why shouldn't it be? The film uses the original Stevenson story only for inspiration and foundation and instead uses its own imagination to create something new and yet surprisingly powerful in its entertainment. Is it scary? No. Not by today's standards anyway. But is it haunting? Yes. It haunts you in the same way that Count Orlok haunted you in "Nosferatu" (1922). The vampire didn't scare you in that film. But the image of a tall, pale rodent-like humanoid stalking about a castle hall after a petrified protagonist lingers on in your memory. As does the memory of Fredric March as she transforms from a handsome young scientist into an ape-like monster that begins to hound and possess a helpless young woman played with great enthusiasm and energy by Miriam Hopkins, most of whose performance had to be cut from the film due to censorship and therefore cost her the possibility of receiving an Academy Award nomination. Fredric March is equally brilliant as Jekyll and Hyde. The film also stars Rose Hobart as Jekyll's fiancée, Halliwell Hobbes as her suspicious father, Edgar Norton as the comical, stammering butler and Holmes Herbert in the one role that I think should have been developed a little more for the character does have impact in the last third of the story.
Now I saw this film after I saw the 1941 remake with Spencer Tracy and for those not familiar with that film, let me just warn you to see this movie first. The remake follows the same story almost as if it were by the book and recreates a lot of scenes, but it does not deliver the same impact even though Tracy is almost as great as March in this film. It's only half the movie that this truly entertaining 1931 horror opus is.
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