In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from ... See full summary »
Francis L. Sullivan
Henry Jekyll is a troubled man. His wife died of pneumonia. He wants his sister-in-law, but her father forbids any contact. And his experiments into the dual nature of man have yielded a ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MGM did a stellar job of producing a high quality Horror film, putting together director Victor Fleming (of "Gone with the Wind" fame) and stars Lana Turner, Ingrid Bergman, and Spencer Tracy. This film demonstrates that horror doesn't have to be campy, low-budget schtick. Like 2000's "The 6th Sense," 1941's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" actually respected the horror material enough to demonstrate the heights to which a major studio could take the genre.
The film takes us to darker places than we dare imagined existed at good ol' MGM, home of the happy-go-lucky family musical. We see the confident, handsome, Jeckyll dissolve into a cruel, crass, foul-minded Hyde with Tracy's masterful performance.
Bergman and Turner also turn in gritty, splendid performances with their less-than-life affirming characters. Rather than playing it for sci-fi thrills, this interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel focuses more on Tracy's losing battle to tame the demon of Hyde. The result is a riveting parable on the banality of evil (all the more visceral in retrospect, given the film's release at the brink of World War II.)
The Film Snob, Lee Cushing
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