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Dr. Jekyll believes good and evil exist in everyone. Experiments reveal his evil side, named Hyde. Experience teaches him how evil Hyde can be: he kills Ivy who earlier expressed interest in Jekyll and Sir Charles, Jekyll's fiancée's father.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Spencer Tracy wanted to play the Hyde role without make-up, but his test performance in the transformation scene was unconvincing, so make-up was used after all. See more »
In the scene where Hyde visits Ivy, he is sitting in a chair eating some grapes. In closeup he can be seen putting the last grape into his mouth with his right hand; but in the next medium shot, showing Hyde in the foreground and Ivy in the background, he is feeding himself with his left hand. See more »
Mr. Edward Hyde:
When you went to see the good doctor, before you left you said... I almost thought, well what did you think? Maybe that you saw a little bit of ME, Hyde in him?
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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.
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