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Dalila Di Lazzaro
Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men - a good and an evil side. He believes that by separating the two man can become liberated. He succeeds in his experiments with chemicals to accomplish this and transforms into Hyde to commit horrendous crimes. When he discontinues use of the drug it is already too late... Written by
Mark J. Popp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When discussing whom to cast as Jekyll/Hyde, studio head Adolph Zukor initially suggested Irving Pichel for the part. Director Rouben Mamoulian turned it down because he wanted an actor who could play both parts convincingly and felt Pichel could only play Hyde. 'Phillips Holmes (I)' was considered and rejected for the opposite reason: he would have been a good Jekyll but a poor Hyde. Mamoulian then suggested Fredric March. Zukor felt that this was a bad choice because, up till then, March had been featured in mostly lightweight roles. Mamoulian insisted that March was perfect for the part, and Zukor acquiesced. In addition to winning March the first of his two Oscars, Jekyll/Hyde was the part that finally led to Hollywood taking him seriously in more demanding roles. See more »
Immediately after Hyde changes to Jekyll in front of Dr. Lanyon, he moves his head and briefly reveals the padded armature attached to the back of his chair, intended to hold his head in the same position while the makeup artists worked on various stages of his transformation. See more »
[after strangling Ivy]
Isn't Hyde a lover after your own heart?
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An exceptional cast and intelligent direction seals the quality of the first 'talkie' version of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale. Often hailed as the best of the many screen adaptations of the story, director Robert Moumalin exploits the symbolic potential of the tale as well as boldly tapping into popular Freudian trends concerning sexual repression. The result is not a by-the-numbers rendition but an effective interpretation with quirks and dimensions of its own. Yet the film belongs to Frederic March who scooped an Oscar for his sensational dual role. Although as Jekyll he unfortunately has to trade flowery romantic dialogue with Rose Hobart, there can be no disputing the menace of his Hyde, with his simian-like appearance, top hat, cloak and cane, who turns cockney hooker Miriam Hopkins' life into a nightmare. It's a breathtaking transformation both physically (thanks to stellar make-up and special effects) and artistically and is undoubtedly the centrepiece of this excellent vintage classic.
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