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Slim and Tubby are American cops in London to study police tactics. They wind up in jail and are bailed out by Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll has been murdering fellow doctors who laugh at his experiments. He has more murders in mind. At one point the serum that turns Jekyll into the murderous Hyde gets injected into Tubby. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Atmospheric A&C comedy is enjoyable nonsense for fans of the duo...
While not quite in the same league as A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN (the top fright flick in the duo's career), ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE does manage to have the stars cavorting in Victorian London while trying to unmask the respectable Dr. Jekyll (BORIS KARLOFF in a delightfully underplayed role) as the mad killer Hyde.
HELEN WESTCOTT and CRAIG STEVENS play the romantic leads in standard fashion but the suffragette sub-plot is really an unnecessary distraction to the overall plot. Some of the sight gags are funny but toward the last segment of the story they're overplayed for whatever laughs can be drawn from the over-the-top situations.
Best segments of the well staged and handsomely mounted film are the scenes involving a wax museum which give the film some of its creepiest moments. The first chimney top chase is well done too and even more effective than the silly final chase which depends so heavily on the comic timing it gets from Stevens, Karloff, Abbott and Costello.
All told, it's got enough plot elements to keep your attention riveted on the story--everything from a sinister laboratory to hidden passages and bookcases that hide Jekyll's sinister experiments. The gaslit Victorian era with fogbound streets is well realized on Universal's studio sets.
Not the best of the A&C comedies, but certainly among the better mirth and fright films they did in the late '40s and early '50s. CRAIG STEVENS plays his role straight, as does Westcott, and together they and Karloff give the story whatever gravitas it has in the realm of boosting the suspenseful elements.
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