Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Reviews
This is a thoughtful interpretation of the Stevenson story but is very rarely emotionally engaging. The theme seems to be sexual repression, with Hyde coming from Jekyll's repressed lust. As Hyde takes over we witness some extraordinary and very graphic Freudian imagery such as Bergman and Turner, naked, pulling a chariot containing Tracy and his whip, and Bergman being screwed out of a bottle by a corkscrew! Amazing. But the horror of the story is never realized and there is too much philosophical chat.
Tracy is terrific in the lead, but his make-up for Hyde is too subtle to be effective. The transformations require him to stand completely still which makes them a bit dull. The final transformation is quite an achievement however. Bergman could have been great but her attempt at a cockney accent seriously detracts from her fine emotional interpretation. Lana Turner is awful as Tracy's true love. But the rest of the cast is very strong - especially Donald Crisp.
The film also contains some fine Fleming touches, including his beautiful slow pans over magnificent sets and crowd scenes. The cinematography is excellent - make sure you don't watch the colorised version - and foggy Victorian London is recreated stunningly. This film never rises to the horror of the 1920 or the 1932 versions but still has much to offer.
Dr. Jekyll is fascinated by good and evil in people and he believes he is capable of separating the two. He believes he has discovered a potion to separate the two but can't gain the funding to test it on humans. He decides to test the potion on himself and unlocks his inner evil, Mr. Hyde. Once out, will Dr. Jekyll ever be able to get Mr. Hyde under control?
"The world is yours, my darling. The moment is mine."
Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Red Dust, A Guy Named Joe, Treasure Island, The Awakening, and Mama's Affair, delivers Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The storyline for this picture included more of a love interest than I had remembered. The action was okay and the acting was solid. The cast includes Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, and Donald Crisp.
"We doctors can't experiment on human beings."
I caught this film when a recent Spencer Tracy marathon aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM)and I decided I had to watch this horror classic. I will say this wasn't quite as good as I hoped and was a bit boring in spots but the story of the female character was fascinating. I don't particularly recommend this old school classic.
"The bull is leaving the china shop."