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>
After Muriel's father consents for Jekyll & Muriel to be married the next day, Jekyll goes home and plays part of Bach's "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" on the organ. There is a mid-shot with March playing the keyboard, then there is a close-up of the hands on the keyboard. The close-up hands are an obvious double, as they are playing the piece correctly. March's mid-shot has his left hand ascending on the keyboard while the notes of the music playing are descending. See more »
Look, my darling, how tight your garter is. You mustn't wear it so tight. It'll bruise your pretty, tender flesh!
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Originally released at 97 minutes. Later reissues are taken from a shortened 82-minutes print. Deletions include:
A 3.5 minute segment immediately following the opening credits. This is filmed in first person, and shows Jekyll playing the organ and getting ready for his lecture.
Jekyll helping a young girl to learn to walk in the free ward. This 1 minute scene precedes the scene with the sick woman in bed.
After his first transformation, Jekyll does not go immediately to the pub as in the cut version. Instead, Poole comes to the laboratory, and Jekyll takes the antidote and then lets him in. Jekyll then visits Muriel and learns that she is going away on a trip. Jekyll is preoccupied with her absence. When he learns she will be away another month, Poole suggests he go out. Jekyll knows a man of his position cannot be seen in the establishments of the lower classes, so he decides to take the potion again. Another on screen transformation occurs, this time while he is seated in a chair. He then leaves for the pub at which Ivy is singing. This sequence lasts 6.5 minutes.
Just before Jekyll's transformation in the park, the restored scene reveals the reason for his transformation without taking the potion. He sees a bird being killed by a cat up in a tree. The traces of the drug in him, combined with the witnessing of this violent act, is enough to trigger the transformation, which he now has no control over. This restored cut lasts 45 seconds.
The last restored scene is when Jekyll visits Muriel to "set her free". This adds additional details as to the torment Jekyll is going through, and confusion of Muriel as to what is troubling Jekyll.
Yes, it creaks a bit here and there and has sometimes the look more of a silent film, but this is an easy talkie and a pre-code one at that. In fact there is much innovation here with audacious camera work and bold wipes from one scene to another. It is some time since I last saw this but it still retains its power. And its vigour! I was surprised all over again at the near nakedness of Miriam Hopkins in her scenes of seduction - that is seduction by her of all things. Later she will suffer as her resonating call to return echoes in the mind of Jekyll/Hyde. There is much talk at first of the true nature of man, the seeming duality of the noble and the base and the social hypocrisies and if in the end it becomes a little more farcical it still retains its power. It will be many years until the issues of sex and violence are so vividly portrayed or explored and this version of the book, albeit more based upon an early stage play will forever remain an essential cinema classic.
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