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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A&C still in fine form in their waning days at Universal--great to have Karloff on board
I somehow missed this film on television as a child, but ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE is a fine vehicle for the boys and shows that they were still in excellent form in their last few years at Universal. There's a lot of physical comedy here and less verbal jousting than in their 1940's material, which is great because both Bud and Lou were amazing physical comedians. They are American police officers who are for some reason in England (learning British police techniques--I just saw a Columbo with that plot recently!), and stumble across a series of killings that has baffled the police. At the same time, we are introduced to Boris Karloff as Dr. Jekyll who has a young lady played by Helen Westcott as his ward (and, in an uncomfortable scene near the end, he professes his love for her "since she was a child"!!!!), and she in turn has an American reporter played by Craig "Peter Gunn" Stevens (always a reliable and attractive leading man)interested in her. There's a strange suffragette subplot that opens the film and is brought back a few times, including an off-the-wall musical sequence, but Ms. Westcott's character is the kind of movie-feminist who abandons the cause when the first hunky man takes an interest in her. The "transformation" scenes with Karloff are well done, and of course Lou gets "transformed" a few times himself. There are some exciting chases, and the scene near the end around the chimney on a roof is a classic that you'll have to see for yourself. Karloff underplays his role, which was probably a wise decision and keeps things from becoming campy. People either like A&C or they don't understand their appeal. Those who enjoy them will find ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE a fine, lesser-known later entry, and it would probably appeal to today's children too. Do those children or grandchildren a favor and introduce them to Bud and Lou--they'll thank you later.
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