Dr. Henry Jekyll is a dull, bookish scientist who spends more time with his lab animals testing theories of alternate personalities than with his beautiful, young wife. Kitty Jekyll has given up trying to find any passion in her distant, preoccupied husband and is involved in an affair with one of Jekyll's old 'friends,' Paul Allen, a weak slacker and wastrel who relies on Jekyll to pay his numerous gambling debts. After experimenting on himself, the bearded, tweedy Jekyll transforms himself into the young, dynamic, and self-confidant Edward Hyde. In his new character he befriends Allen, who has no idea that this clean-cut, handsome playboy prone to outbursts of violence is really Jekyll. As Hyde, he encourages Allen to introduce him to the dark underbelly of London's night life including opium dens and sex clubs, where he begins an affair with the sensual courtesan Maria, an exotic dancer and snake charmer. When he tries to seduce Allen's mistress, in reality his own wife, he is ...Written by
Robert Louis Stevenson goes unmentioned in the credits. Because the novel is in the public domain, Hammer apparently felt no obligation to bill him. See more »
For the original UK cinema version cuts were made by the BBFC to shorten the scene where the woman dances with a snake, shots of brief nudity during Hyde's bedroom scene with Maria, and a reduction in Hyde's strangulation of her. The 2010 Sony DVD features the restored and uncut UK cinema version. See more »
Ostracized by the scientific community, Dr. Jekyll is doing some rather pointless sounding experiments while his wife is cheating on him with his gambler friend. Unhappy with their relationship, he turns his experiments on himself and becomes the suave Mr. Hyde.
Another take on the Jekyll and Hyde story, this one has some interesting ideas, but it never does much with them. Ultimately, the film is quite dull. Too much focus is placed on Jekyll's poor marriage and the affair his wife is having. It might not have been so bad if his wife were actually desirable, but she's an annoying shrew. Jekyll should just rid himself of her and consider his life all the better for it. Christopher Lee plays the friend with whom she's having the affair. He's playing against type here and is actually sort of the protagonist, but it's hard feeling sympathy for a philanderer. Paul Massie plays Jekyll and Hyde. He's actually not that great as either. His line delivery just sounds unnatural, especially when he's playing Jekyll.
There are some interesting twists towards the end, but it's too little, too late. This isn't one of the better films from Hammer.
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