Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

1931

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Critics Consensus

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

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,630
User image

Tap to review this movie

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

Where to watch

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Photos

Movie Info

The good Doctor Jekyll invents a drug that unleashes Mr. Hyde, the incarnation of his uncontrollable evil side, with devastating consequences. The first sound film version of this oft-told Robert Louis Stevenson story, this visually inventive horror classic features an Oscar-winning performance by Frederic March in the split personality of the title role. Incidentally, this film uses the more proper pronunciation GEE-kyl, rather than the currently more-often heard JECK-yl.

Cast

News & Interviews for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Critic Reviews for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2)

  • 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.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Dr Jekyll combines gothic horror, aristocratic romance and madcap Freudian psychodrama into a dizzying, exhilarating brew.

    Dec 12, 2008 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Mamoulian's vision of Dr Jekyll's hidden life in the foggy Victorian underworld is fascinating.

    Dec 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • A remarkable achievement that deserves to be much better known.

    Sep 26, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • Mar 31, 2016
    This take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story is classic in its own right, and works on many levels. There's the obvious psychological component to the story, with Jekyll representing the ego/superego, and Hyde the id. We also have the theme of the scientist tampering with nature with an altruistic goal, in this case to rid the psyche of the bad side, become 'super-good', and achieve more, but with a disastrous result that quickly gets out of his hands. But perhaps most importantly, we have the sheer horror of a man unchecked by morality, who is 'free' from constraint, and who promptly rapes, brutalizes, and murders before running off into the foggy London night. He's not an unthinking animal, however - he has all of his cognitive abilities, speaks, and uses logic to elude capture - and this, combined with film sequences that are shot from Jekyll/Hyde's perspective, amplify the fact that this villain is within us all, which is the greatest horror of all. As an aside: isn't it interesting that while Dr. Jekyll clearly contains the two sides of man, the good and the evil, the female characters in the film seem to be neatly one-dimensional: Muriel (his fiancée, 'good'), and Ivy (the dancehall girl, 'bad'). And that after he's taken the potion, he gets darker in addition to becoming uglier and needing some serious orthodontia? But I digress. Frederic March is fantastic as Jekyll and Hyde, and won an Oscar for his performance. He plays the lecher without mercy, and leaps around during some exciting chase sequences. The scene where he shows up in Ivy's mirror after she's been assured by Dr. Jekyll that he's gone for good is frightening. Dr. Jekyll thought he could make that promise before he realized that not taking the potion was no longer sufficient to stop the transformation to Mr. Hyde, and that mere impure thought could now bring it about. It's hard to put the lid back on once Pandora's Box has been opened. Miriam Hopkins shows nice range as Ivy, first absolutely sizzling in a scene where she tries to seduce Dr. Jekyll, a scene ending with her swinging her bare leg from a bed, giving him a serious ravage-me look, responding to his saying he can't return playfully with "oh yes you can", and imploring him to "Come back soon, won't you?....Soon...Come back." Yowza. Later, she's suitably horrified by Mr. Hyde, who does have his way with her, and abuses her without mercy. (she only shows the whip marks to Jekyll, we neither see this happening or the marks themselves ... but it's enough to make us shiver) That dangling leg is left superimposed on the screen for some time while Dr. Jekyll walks off with a colleague, exclaiming ""Can a man dying of thirst forget water? Do you know what would happen to that thirst if it were denied water?" His marriage to Muriel has been delayed at her father's request; the suggestion is he's sexually frustrated, and after taking the potion, he makes a beeline back to see Ivy. Aside from special effects that are outstanding for the time period, and which hold up well today (particularly the first transformation), the film adds some other nice touches. Dr. Jekyll's organ playing is brief but adds a manic and morbid tone, as the film cuts to a candelabra, a statue, a bust, and a tight shot of his servant's face in succession. At one point, Dr. Jekyll is in the park, hears birdsong, and quotes Keats' 'Ode to a Nightingale' ("thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down...") ... before seeing a cat advancing along the branch to silence that song. Later, as Hyde strangles Ivy, they slump behind a bed, revealing in the background a replica of Canova's 'Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss' which director Rouben Mamoulian leaves us with until Hyde gets back up. The movie has some pretty dark content, but it's asking questions about man's nature, and this version is balanced and moves along well. Definitely a classic.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2013
    Still has the ability to creep and perhaps it is creepier because of the dated nature of the film. It is a harkening back to an era of mystery in a true gothic background.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2011
    I love Miriam Hopkins portrayal of Ivy Parsons as the woman saved from a brutish abusive drunk by the gentle Dr. Jekyll, later to be terrorized by his evil wolfman-like alter ego Mr. Hyde. Her look of terror while in the grips of the dangerously paranoid & violent Mr. Hyde as he tortures her every moment of living is so convincing(it truly made me feel uncomfortable). In her desperation she turns to the Dr. Jekyll looking for help not realizing she's putting herself in immanent danger because as Mr. Hyde says "I know everything you do" and he is waiting to unleash his fury from within Jekyll's sub-conscience. My favorite part of this movie is a scene in the beginning of the film the Dr. is addressing a panel of doctors on the seemingly made-up scenario of "if man could remove the evil from within himself, would there be no limits to the good each of us could achieve?" In of itself this is a gorgeous question that in the end defeated Jekyll.
    Greg A Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    The overacting is too much for me but the transformation scenes are pretty cool. A classic, but not for me.
    Graham J Super Reviewer

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Quotes

News & Features