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Francis L. Sullivan
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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 faincee's father. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Spencer Tracy's performance as Hyde was judged by the critics in 1941 to be inadequate, principally because he was not frightening enough. In addition, Tracy was considered "too American" and too "rough" to be believable as an upper-class doctor in Victorian London. He later received an amusing telegram from Fredric March, the star of the 1931 version, who said that his earlier performance as Hyde was always compared favorably with Tracy's. After watching the film, Tracy confided to his friend Ralph Bellamy that he believed his Hollywood career was over. See more »
It does not make sense how Ivy does not recognize Hyde when he looks almost exactly the same as Jekyll. See more »
This version of the classic "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" story is more slow-moving and psychological than most. Rather than emphasizing the more horrific elements of the story, it relies on a good cast to bring out the ways that the characters and their relationships are affected by the doctor's weird experiment. It's not the version to watch if you are looking for excitement or horror, but as a more psychological approach it mostly works.
Spencer Tracy plays the dual leading role, and does pretty well at creating two distinct personalities - the transformation uses only minimal special effects, and relies on Tracy to make the characters convincing. Lana Turner and Ingrid Bergman work well as Beatrix and Ivy, and the rest of the cast members are also all very good. What the film lacks in excitement it makes up for in making Dr. Jekyll's world believable.
If you're already familiar with the story in its more horrific versions, this would be worth a look if you're interested in a different take on it. It's probably not the place to start, though, if you don't yet know the story.
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