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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 2

A classic. The definitive version of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella from 1931, with innovative special effects, atmospheric cinematography and deranged overacting.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

A classic. The definitive version of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella from 1931, with innovative special effects, atmospheric cinematography and deranged overacting.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,325

My Rating

Movie Info

This first sound version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic morality tale starred Fredric March as the kindly, philanthropic Dr. Jekyll, who makes the fatal mistake of delving into secrets that Man Should Never Know. Fascinated with the notion that within each man lurk impulses for both Good and Evil, Jekyll develops a drug to release the wickedness in himself. The result: the lecherous, lycanthropic Mr. Hyde (one has to keep reminding oneself that the handsome, soft-spoken March plays both

Jan 6, 2004

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (2) | DVD (4)

Camera trick of changing a central figure from the handsome Fredric March into the bestial, ape-like monster Hyde, carries a terrific punch, but in each successive use of the device -- and it is repeated four times -- it weakens in hair-raising effort.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

'Dr Jekyll' combines gothic horror, aristocratic romance and madcap Freudian psychodrama into a dizzying, exhilirating brew.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A remarkable achievement that deserves to be much better known.

September 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fredric March is the stellar performer in this blood-curdling shadow venture.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This most enduring adaptation of the Faustian moral fable is totally satisfying.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Fredric March received his first Best Actor Oscar for playing the titular roles in Mamoulian's moody and haunting version of Stevenson's novella.

February 4, 2013 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

There has never been a more inventive nor engaging retelling of this classic story.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

While some of the dialogue and acting may now seem arch, this remains a standout take on the classic novel, visually inventive and often surprisingly strong given the era in which it was made.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's a lurid potboiler which is notable for some superb camera work (a long POV tracking shot at the beginning of the film for example), some innovative early special effects and some of the most deranged overacting you are ever likely to see.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Mamoulian's vision of Dr Jekyll's hidden life in the foggy Victorian underworld is fascinating.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Powerful performances from March and Hopkins and richly atmospheric cinematography help make for a memorable journey down Stevenson's "strange and terrible road."

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The 1931 version of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella, directed by the great Rouben Mamoulian, is still the best version there is, far more frightening than the glossy MGM version Victor Fleming made a decade or so later.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

It's taken from a novel Stevenson feverishly wrote over a period of six-days while snorting cocaine, and is well-served in this film by Mamoulian's excesses.

November 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Easily the best of the many versions of the Stevenson horror classic.

September 26, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Great effects for its time and some incredible performances makes this a true cinema classic.

September 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Transformations still amaze; best version to date.

October 30, 2004

It is an engaging, old-fashioned movie, using the right blend of thoughtful artistry and matinee thrills, with a touch of eroticism to spice things up.

October 14, 2004

The film makes it clear that Hyde's emergence is due more to Jekyll's 'ungentlemanly' sexual frustration (note Hyde's hairy hands) than to any particular bloodlust...

March 8, 2004
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Someone's been reading her "Paradise Lost."

February 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A dark and ultimately disturbing film.

January 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema

Jekyll's predicament, his repressed sexual frustration...and the consequent release of this frustration as Hyde, must have been a pain for the censors to accept.

December 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The overacting is too much for me but the transformation scenes are pretty cool. A classic, but not for me.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Robert Louis Stevenson's cautionary tale of obsession and dark passions is given fine treatment by Mamoulian, the make-up artists and, of course, Fredric March as the young impatient doctor who cannot wait to taste the fruits of life. Miriam Hopkins, too, is in rare form as the not-so-sweet object of desire.
June 26, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

who could compete with that sizzling seductive whisper..."come back...SOON...." with a sexy leg rolling by the bedside to scratch your libido into thousands of visceral hard-ons...ha! now i'm being bawdy. maybe just slightly obscene?
October 17, 2010
dietmountaindew
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

frederic march is the best jekyll/hyde. nice effects and pretty racy
August 26, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde: Free, free at last!
    – Submitted by Alex K (15 months ago)
    1. Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde: I have no soul. I'm beyond the pale. I'm one of the living dead!
    – Submitted by Greg A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde (DE)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) (UK)
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