Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
46 Reviews
Sort by:
Underrated effort with some great moments
slayrrr66631 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is a slightly underrated entry in their series.

**SPOILERS**

Failing to stop a fight in a crowded park, London Police Officers Slim, (Bud Abbott) and Tubby, (Lou Costello) are kicked off the squad. When they find a serial killer at a playhouse where the leader of the fight, Vicky Edwards, (Helen Westcott) is giving a dance performance, Bruce Adams, (Craig Stevens) and them give chase and try to trap him, only to find they have instead caught Dr. Henry Jekyll, (Boris Karloff) a respected member of the community. Finding a secret lab, which they believe is the place where he conducts his experiments, which turn him into the murderous Mr. Hyde. Teaming together, they race to get the monster before it is able to escape.

The Good News: This wasn't that bad of a film. The greatest thing is that Jekyll/Hyde story, which was always really a modern reworking of the werewolf myth with the mad scientist's laboratory in lieu of the full moon and silver bullets, is that this version of the Jekyll/Hyde story moves far closer to it's werewolf ancestor than most other versions. It's found in the prehensile design of the makeup and mostly in the last scene which has the monster threat being passed on to a line of police officers via a series of bites. The ending is it's most creative aspect, bringing the two mentioned themes into a film that haven't been mixed together in the past into a story that meshes them brilliantly is to be commended for it. It is also, at times, pretty funny, with plenty of great slapstick coming in throughout the film. The wax museum and dressing room gags are fall-down hilarious, and the round-robin stalking scene around a roof-top air conditioner allows for some nice laughs as well. With plenty of head-smacking, mistaken identity and pratfalls to be found as well, this can be just as funny as their other adventures. The wax museum sequence stands out as the film's highlight, as it's highly original, wonderfully played out, immensely creepy and full of energy, with nary a second wasted. It's one of the best scenes in their catalog, and remains quite good overall. The chasing at the end is a good way to end it, but lacks the energy of what came before. The opening attack, taking place in the fog-covered buildings, is suitably atmospheric and is a great opener. With a really good pace to it, this has a lot to like about it.

The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here that wasn't good. One of the problems was the feminist subplot. While introducing the love angle that was to come, it doesn't serve any purpose beyond the first fifteen minutes beyond a fleeting moment at the ending, and there was a lot of other ways of getting the two together without forcing the angle upon the viewer. The few plot-points it gets easily could've been done in other fashions, and doesn't do much of anything beyond wasting screen time. It's thankfully dropped and forgotten about quite early in the film. Another problem is the repetitiveness of everything. Searching a possible hideout, everyone splits up, leaving the easily-scared one of the group to find the one responsible, go into a hysterical fit upon this, and run away in a comical manner, to be rejoined by the others and have his story laughed away as something. It's been done in their other ones, and doesn't really do much here other than provide a few giggles the first time, but wears thin upon repeated viewings. Beyond these, though, it's a fun entry.

The Final Verdict: A really underrated entry in their series, this one was a lot of fun and provides what is to be expected of these films. It provides plenty of opportunities for slapstick while giving a serious threat star treatment. At the very least, it requires a look-see for fans to give it a shot, it's not as bad.

Today's Rating-PG: Violence
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Oldie but still a goldie.
Steve Mullin31 July 2006
Have just sat down and re-watched this film with my 3 kids and can definitely say that they loved it. Although by this time in their careers Abbott & Costello's top movie double-act crown was being swiped by those new kids Martin & Lewis,this movie was a box office smash when first released and still holds up well today. The mixture of comedy and horror works a treat as it had done in " Meet Frankenstein" a number of years earlier and Karloffs performance adds real class to the tomfoolery on screen. Of course the Universal depiction of turn of the century London,( all fog shrouded streets and fish & chip shops ) leaves a lot to be desired,I think it adds to the films charm in much the same way as when used in the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes mysteries of the same period. Bud and Lou carry off their roles well and the romantic subplot seems not to intrude as much as in the boys earlier wartime comedies. All in all a good little film to be watched on a rainy Monday afternoon.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Rose-tinted Spectacles
Gary17045914 May 2004
Whenever I see this I see it through Rose-tinted Spectacles: because I first saw it as a kid nostalgia kicks in and all faults are forgiven. There's quite a few of A&C's in that list, The Lost World (1960) springs to my mind as a different another. It certainly helps because in places this is laughably bad, but of course those bits were likely thrown in just for the kids! On the other hand there are some effective atmospheric moments, the set pieces usually work and the overall production values were good. You know the story - good cop bad cop. The classic 4-round-the-chimney routine still holds up, and the very last gag in the film should leave you smiling - unless you have watched this movie all the way through against your will.

Over here, it's fashionable and even de rigueur for film critics (and buffs) to denigrate the entire A&C canon as anything from utterly worthless to as unfunny as death (no kidding!) along with Britain's wartime box office no.1, George Formby. Without watching a single film sometimes. Pity the blinkered high brows as not being quite complete human beings, at always having to view such harmless fun in an Artistic light. Or maybe pity ordinary people who hate A&C but feel they have to force themselves to sit through this and then unload their bile.

Sure, times change (from innocent to cynical) - Jekyll/Karloff passionately says to Vicky that he'd loved her since she was a child - putting a whole new psychological slant on his persona. Has that been cut out yet? And any comedic aspect of animal experimentation has thankfully gone of course - hasn't it? A&C haven't changed, these are typical late performances from them, only with not so many memorable lines.

If you can see this simply as knockabout Jekyll and Hyde with 2 bumbling American policemen in London and nothing more you'll do OK like me.
19 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Middle tier A&C picture boosted by Karloff's looming presence.
Spikeopath18 May 2011
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is directed by Charles Lamont and loosely based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written by Robert Louis Stevenson. It stars Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and Boris Karloff. Plot finds Bud and Lou as two coppers in old time London who become involved with the hunt for a monstrous killer. A hunt that brings them into contact with the mysterious Dr. Jekyll.

It would be the fourth from last movie the popular comedy duo would make together, and the latest to see them paired with a famous monster from 30's cinema. Although it's a touch weak in the comedy stakes, and it does kind of feel like they are winding down after such a fruitful career, the film holds up well as a polished picture. The writers have varied the Jekyll & Hyde legend by actually having Jekyll himself be evil, wonderfully essayed by Karloff, and a couple of sequences are genuinely laugh out loud funny: think mouse head, think hypodermic needle; while the involvement of the Suffragettes in the story gives it some historical interest. It's also good on atmosphere, be it the moody streets of London, or Costello alone in a wax museum, Lamont and photographer George Robinson give it a creepy veneer before the anarchy breaks out.

Unlikely to encourage new fans to their work, but a safe addition for those who enjoy the majority of their output. 7/10
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
One's Inner Hyde
bkoganbing13 September 2010
Watching Abbott&Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde the only thing that struck me wrong was the casting of Craig Stevens and Helen Westcott as the young lovers. Both are completely American and have absolutely no trace of English speech pattern for a story set in Victorian London. Even Bud and Lou's presence in the film is explained that they are Americans studying English police methods. Which begs the question, what police force in America would hire them?

The cultivated Dr. Henry Jekyll is played by Boris Karloff, but his Jekyll is not the scientist that we saw Fredric March and Spencer Tracy play. He's well into his experiments that now have him change without warning into Mr. Hyde. Unlike with Tracy and March, Hyde does not speak he just grunts and growls the way Karloff's Frankenstein monster does.

Westcott is Karloff's ward whom he has raised since childhood, but those aren't fatherly glances he's giving her now. Especially since young reporter Stevens has become interested in Westcott after covering her at a suffragette rally. It doesn't take much to get his inner Hyde going.

As for Bud and Lou none of their patented burlesque routines are featured here, but they still get plenty of laughs. Unfortunately for the film, their best moments are as London Bobbys trying to break up the suffragette rally where the women do get the better of them which is at the beginning of the film.

Of course at the end Costello gets jabbed with some of Karloff's Hyde serum and goes off on an inner Hyde journey of his own. Reginald Denny has a fine role as the English Scotland Yard Inspector driven quite crazy like Herbert Lom by this pair of American Clouseaus.

Not the best of A&C, but the boys still had a lot of good humor still left for their audience.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Atmospheric A&C comedy is enjoyable nonsense for fans of the duo...
Neil Doyle12 February 2008
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.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Underrated
filmbuff197031 May 2002
The duo are in fine form. And although this isnt as good as meet Frankenstein. There is a fantastic Performance from Boris Karloff,he really is excellent in this as a man experimenting with drugs in order to get the girl he loves even though he has no chance of winning her heart.Rarely has a villain been almost sympathetic.some good chuckles as well. 8 out of 10
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
A&C still in fine form in their waning days at Universal--great to have Karloff on board
django-120 March 2006
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.
16 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Laughs, Lunacy, and Karloff
BaronBl00d29 August 1999
Abbott and Costello started with Frankenstein in 1948, and then proceeded to meet all the great monsters. In this film, the cowardly, hilarious duo team up with the King of Horror, Boris Karloff, as the misguided, evil Dr. Jekyll and his counterpart as the malicious, psychotic Mr. Hyde. This is the next best horror-comedy film for the duo after Frankenstein. It has wonderful sets, funny moments, and fantastic makeup as various individuals turn into Hyde-like beasts and Lou turns into a giant mouse. Karloff somehow remains his ever so serious self, amidst the slapstick humour. You can all most look in his eyes and see him thinking he is above this, but he turns in a very nice performance nonetheless.
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Almost their last hurrah!
uds37 November 2003
Admittedly inferior to their arguably best "Meet" film ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN five years earlier during their golden age, this was easily the best of their films in their declining years of the early to mid fifties.

The boys play a pair of NY cops on a work-experience exchange in Victorian London. They are soon on the trail of the diabolical MR HYDE (played on and off by Karloff) having already met Dr Jekyll in "polite society"

The story makes for some top comedic moments for Bud and Lou. The climactic chase after Lou is turned accidentally into a mouse is funny stuff. And thats all this is - funny stuff. A few reviewers here have gotten themselves into the psychology of the characters and seem miffed in the extreme at the liberties taken with R L Stevenson's original characters. Live with it...this was a highly watchable comedy and should be viewed upon the impact it made in 1953 NOT the new millennium.
10 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Fun...and that's exactly what an Abbott and Costello movie should be.
MartinHafer25 August 2009
This is among the best of Abbott and Costello's films because it is so much fun. It also didn't hurt that it is one of their films that combined monsters with comedy--a sure recipe for success. The first of these films, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN happens to be their best film, but followup films with the Invisible Man, the Mummy and Dr. Jekyll were also among their best films.

The film begins with Bud and Lou inexplicably working for the London police. Because they are Bud and Lou, they naturally get fired. So, they spend the rest of the movie trying to solve the big case, a serial killer, in order to get back on the force.

The trail takes them to Dr. Henry Jekyll (Boris Karloff) and despite his very pleasant demeanor, he's a real jerk. Underneath this nice facade, this incarnation of Jekyll is quite different from versions of the story starring John Barrymore, Frederic March or Spencer Tracy. Unlike these previous versions, Jekyll is truly evil and likes becoming the monster. In other words, he uses this new guise to kill with impunity because he is a horrible person. However, he really looked little like the movie Mr. Hyde when he transformed. Instead of the usual transformation, this time it looks like they used a rubber mask and it looked more like the Frederic March version of Jekyll combined with the Wolf-Man! The main reason to make his so unrecognizable was because this was a very active role (involving a lot of climbing and stunts) and Karloff was simply too old to handle these rigors. Frankly, though Hyde and Jekyll were quite different, this didn't bother me.

So what is so good about the film? Well, the most important plus this film has is no singing!! Hallelujah! Too many of Abbott and Costello's films (particularly the early ones) were heavily padded with songs that distracted the audience unnecessarily and added nothing to the plot. Additionally, like many of their best films, this one was plot and character-driven--not a bunch of semi-related vignettes and Vaudeville routines thrown together. In addition it sure didn't hurt that the ending was quite clever and funny as well--leaving the audience laughing as the credits rolled.

Overall, a film I'd place in the top five of the Abbott and Costello films. If you really care, and you might, this is how I'd place them in order from best to worst:

1. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN

2. WHO DONE IT?

3. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

4. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER

5. LITTLE GIANT (yes, I know most people hate this one but I liked it).
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great fun
Russell Dodd10 August 1999
I found this to be Abbott and Costello's last great movie. It's most underrated. The music and sets create a good Victorian atmosphere. Bud and Lou aren't at their funniest but they are highly enjoyable. Karloff is good too. Kids should love this movie though A+C aren't given much screen time in the first quarter of an hour, but the story is well set by then. Great stuff.
15 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Boris Karloff Version.
AaronCapenBanner28 October 2013
Abbott & Costello play Slim & Tubby, two American policemen in London in order to study their local police tactics. They get a big chance when a series of murders break out with respected doctors being the victims. It turns out to be the work of Henry Jekyll(played nicely by Boris Karloff) who is frustrated and vengeful against the men who laughed at his research and theories. He developed the serum that turned him into Mr. Hyde, who is more athletic and stronger than Jekyll. Hyde becomes the object of a manhunt, with the expected comedic results. Despite the decline in quality of their films, this is an unexpected bright spot, being both funny and scary, and directed with energy and enthusiasm. I agree it would have been better if Karloff had the chance to do an entirely serious adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, but this will have to do!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Too Much Cookie Cutter
DKosty1236 March 2010
This is an example of a good idea but one that looks like it was done too many times. This is the boys second movie with Karloff (the other being several years earlier). This one is just not as good.

What is missing here is John Grants script writing. When Grant writes, he remembers that A&C are verbally funny and give them some oral comedy. That is what this film is missing.

Oh, if only the idea had at least gotten some of Grants dialog got into this, the opportunities are here as the boys have several sequences with Boris, but alas, they are not to be. There is plenty of physical comedy.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) ***
JoeKarlosi20 July 2008
After ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN this is my next favorite of their "meet the monsters" movies. Thankfully it offers an added treat by starring horror legend Boris Karloff in the part of Dr. Jekyll, though when he's running around London as Mr. Hyde it is actually a stunt man in a monster mask. Bud and Lou are "Slim" and "Tubby" (okay, so the names aren't very original), two Americans who are hired as bumbling police bobbies in England. It isn't long before they're thrown off the force for their incompetence, but they have a plan to try and get their jobs back by trying to apprehend the "monster" that's been loose and murdering people. This would be Mr. Hyde, the savage alter ego of Dr. Jekyll (Karloff). As portrayed in this film, Jekyll is not very innocent himself, as he is rather a schemer who is madly in love with his young ward (Helen Westcott) who is young enough to be his own granddaughter! The comedy of Abbott and Costello this time relies more on slapstick gags than their trademark verbal "routines". Both comedians look like they did during their television show, as this feature was produced at the same time. If you're a fan of Boris Karloff, this film puts him to far better use than he was given in 1949's ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER. It also works as a straight monster movie along with the jokes. *** out of ****
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fun Entry in A&C's "Meet" Series
Michael_Elliott27 June 2015
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

*** (out of 4)

Slim (Bud Abbott) and Tubby (Lou Costello) are kicked off the London police force but they plan on getting back on by tracking down the monster that has been terrorizing people. What no one knows is that the beloved Dr. Jekyll (Boris Karloff) has been experimenting with chemicals that bring out the murderous Mr. Hyde.

If you've seen all of Abbott and Costello's movies like I have then you already know that it was quite common for them to repeat jokes throughout their films. In the early 1940s they had film dealing with the Army and Navy and these two often swapped certain jokes. When HOLD THAT GHOST became a hit it ended up leading to ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, which was the duo's masterpiece. The formula worked so well they continued to meet various monsters so it was only a matter of time until they ran into the characters from Robert Louis Stevenson.

For the most part this is an entertaining film thanks in large part to some very memorable transformation moments as well as some likable characters and performances. I think most people who watch this movie will agree that the highlight is a terrific sequence where Costello drinks a formula and ends up turning into a mouse. The jokes built around his transformation are hilarious and Abbott's reaction to seeing him was priceless. There are several funny pieces scattered throughout the picture including where the boys chase the monster through various doors at a musical show. Even the opening music number isn't all that bad and it leads to a pretty fun fight.

Both Bud and Lou are in good form here as they appear to be having some fun even though the material was starting to repeat itself a bit too much. The supporting players like Craig Stevens and Helen Westcott were also good in their parts. Then there's Boris Karloff who was perfect for the role of Dr. Jekyll. I always thought Karloff was extremely good here and it's too bad he didn't get to play the role in his own movie. He was perfect at showing the tender side of the doctor but could perfectly transform his eyes when it came time for the horror. The only downside is that he's obviously not playing Mr. Hyde as the monster looks nothing like him.

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE isn't the greatest of their "meet" pictures but it's certainly fun and worth watching.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
How to Find Jekyll and Hide
lugonian12 October 2013
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (Universal-International, 1953), directed by Charles Lamont, marks another well-intentioned horror spoof variation featuring that dynamic dual of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in another thrill and chill venture outing. Following the pattern that started it all with ... MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) along with other assortment of other Universal monsters as Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney), followed by ... MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951), and eventually their long overdue prospect of ... MEET THE MUMMY (1955), JEKYLL AND HYDE pits Bud and Lou's in what would be classified an two encounters for the price of one, both played by Boris Karloff. Unlike the aforementioned monster meetings, Jekyll and Hyde was not actually a Universal product, though it could have been. Earlier adaptations dating back to the silent era were those distributed by other studios, notably Paramount (1920/John Barrymore, 1931/ Fredric March) and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1941/surprisingly enacted by Spencer Tracy). While Universal succeeded in placing this classic Robert Louis Stevenson character(s) as part of their package for the comedy team, the opening credits reveal its story element to actually been written by Sidney Fields, the same Fields who played Bud and Lou's landlord in their weekly TV series, "The Abbott and Costello Show" (1952-54).

Set in 19th Century England, the story opens in the streets of London where a Doctor Stephen Poole is brutally murdered by a hideous monster in Hyde Park. Bruce Adams (Craig Stevens) of The Daily Reporter is assigned to investigate along with similar crimes that have taken place in the area. He soon encounters Vicki Edwards (Helen Westcott), a militant leader speaking out for women's rights in the park. Her singing of "Equal Rights for Women" stirs a riot between men and women in the crowd. Slim (Bud Abbott) and Tubby (Lou Costello), a couple of American policemen assigned to study British methods in crime control, enter the scene only to end up in jail instead. Also in separate cells are Bruce and Vicki getting better acquainted during his "interview." Released on bail by her guardian, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Boris Karloff), a well respected research scientist, Vicki, a dance hall can-can girl by profession, starts seeing more of the crime reporter, much to the dismay by the overly jealous Jekyll. Dismissed from the police force by the harassed Scotland Yard inspector (Reginald Denny), Slim and Tubby attempt to redeem themselves by going out and capturing the monster. Because the former policemen seem to be getting closer to his secrets, Jekyll hires Slim and Tubby as his live-in assistants in order to place the blame on one of them for the ghastly murders. During their stay, Tubby encounters the secret laboratory full of experiments along with a muted servant, Batley (John Dierkes), Jekyll's zombie-like assistant, frightening enough to pass for an undertaker's undertaker.

Having already appeared opposite Bud and Lou in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949), Karloff, always a welcome presence is films such as these, has more to do this time around, especially opposite the derby bobbling Lou Costello. How interesting that Karloff's alter-ego throughout the story is identified solely as The Monster, never as Mr. Hyde. Considering Karloff's transformation from kind doctor to monstrous character with huge nostrils and wolf-like sounding and physical appearance, it's a wonder the movie wasn't titled "Abbott and Costello Meet the Werewolf of London" instead. Paging Henry Hull!

As in the previous fright comedies, the supporting players, especially Karloff, play their roles straight, leaving the comedy for the bumbling heroes. Good comedy moments include barking rabbits; Costello's transformation to either a giant mouse or Hyde's monster; the big chase about town resulting to Reginald Denny's facial expression of disbelief; and the ever presence of Karloff himself. There's even a slight in-joke where Costello's Tubby inside a wax museum with figures of Dracula and the Frankenstein monster. Slick trick photography, Universal stock music scoring, and plenty of pratfalls (Costello, naturally) round up this otherwise amusing horror-comedy tale that reportedly did quite well in theaters upon its release.

Distributed to home video and later DVD, ... MEET JEKYLL AND HYDE's cable television broadcasts consisted of The Comedy Channel (late 1980s), The Disney Channel (1995) and American Movie Classics (2001-03), Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: April 16, 2016), among others. As much as there are those who might feel this to be a weak attempt in the A&C horror stories, it's certainly improves over the some recent Abbott and Costello offerings as LOST IN ALASKA (1952) or ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (1953). (**1/2)
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It Is One Of The best Abbott & Costello Monster Movies!!
jeremy-4420 June 1999
Hi Im 13 years old. I love Abbott & Costello! Abbott And Costello Meet Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde Is A Very Funny Movie! It Is About Abbott And Costello As Cops Tracking Down Mr Hyde All Over London!! Stars Boris Karloff As Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde! I Have The Movie! Mixed With Comedy And Horror It Is A Good Movie!!!
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
An amusing take on the classic Stevenson novella
theowinthrop9 December 2005
Despite the closing line of DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE, the closing sentence "I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jeckyll to an end", has never been true. I don't think any of Stevenson's stories (including TREASURE ISLAND and KIDNAPPED) ever generated as many plays or films or television treatments, with variations. And while not as amusing as earlier comedies they did in the 1940s, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE is quite amusing on a lesser level.

My favorite piece in the film is towards the end. Scotland Yard is determined to capture the notorious Mr. Hyde (Karloff in ape-like make-up). Reginald Denny, the Inspector in charge of the case, has stationed his police officers around London to track Hyde's movements - so they can find his lair. They do not know that Jeckyll becomes Hyde by taking a compound into his veins with a hypodermic needle. Nor do they know that not only has Karloff taken it (as usual), but so has Costello. So there are two monsters, identical in appearance, roaming the streets of London. The bobbies dutifully report the movements of "Hyde" to the Yard, and the movements are plotted - except he seems to be in different parts of London at the same time. At the conclusion of the film we see Denny looking hopelessly at the map of London which is covered with hundreds of lines going in all types of directions. Denny looks absolutely helplessly at what should have been a foolproof plan.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
A Badly Faltering Abbott & Costello Comedy/Horror
Fuzzy Wuzzy7 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Released in 1953 - This disappointingly unfunny Abbott & Costello comedy would (thankfully) be the second last time where Universal Studios would incorporate one of their famous monsters into the story in hopes that this would generate some much-needed audience interest into its unbelievably weak and almost humourless plot.

Set in London, England (during the Edwardian era), this trifle-of-a-movie was basically a repulsively trite romance story that took place between the characters of Bruce Adams (the handsome, dashing, news-reporter) and Vicky Edwards (the pretty, frilly, women's rights activist).

Abbott & Costello's roles in this film as Slim & Tubby (2 American cops studying police tactics in London) are only marginal and repeatedly take a back-seat to the story's focus of Bruce & Vicky's tiresome & contrived courting ritual.

Veteran actor Boris Karloff also appears in the story as Dr. Jekyll (but not as Mr. Hyde). As well, his role as this kindly, but strange, mad scientist is greatly overshadowed by the absurdity of Bruce & Vicky cooing away to each other like 2 brain-dead lovebirds.

With the exception of a couple of "ok" make-up effects and some well-timed slapstick comedy, this dull film clearly missed the mark on all counts (from its humour, to its horror, to its general audience appeal).

This badly-conceived picture was clear evidence that, as a comic duo, Abbott & Costello were at the very brink of approaching the absolute nadir of their movie careers.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A GREAT FILM CLASSIC!
whpratt12 May 2003
This film with great comedians as Bud and Lou Costello and the King of Horror, Boris Karloff will be viewed by many generations as a great film classic for all ages. It would be very hard to find this film not a great gift to the film lovers of America. Two American police officers, Slim (Bud Abbott) and Tubby (Lou Costello, are studying the British police methods. They try to break up a suffragette demonstration and meet Vicky Edwards(Helen Westcott), a dancer and very pretty. Her guardian, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Boris Karloff), is experimenting with transplanting character traits and personalities in humans and animals. Karloff's make up men are Jack Kevan and Bud Westmore who create a great looking Hyde looking face. Karloff of course acted a dual role as Mr. Hyde and wore a rubber mask and was substituted for a stuntman (Eddie Parker) in the more difficult scenes of jumping from roof top to roof top. This was Karloff's last film for Universal.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Abbott and Costello's take on the classic story is a more than worthy one.
Boba_Fett113810 September 2006
In this comical version of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello team up with Boris Karloff for the second time. The end result is a very well made movie that throughout its entire running time always remains pleasant to watch.

I'm probably not the biggest fan around of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello as a comedy duo but still their movies have some great and well timed and placed comical sequences that are highly effective when it comes down to the humor of the movie. This movie its humor is spot-on although it at moments goes a bit too over-the-top, which is in contrast with the rest of the movie. Luckily this only mainly occurs in the beginning of the movie, which means that the rest of the movie is for most part a well timed and made comedy that never fails to amuse. It's not an hilarious movie or a movie that makes you laugh out loud constantly but nevertheless the movie always remains highly entertaining to watch.

I'm actually a person that always has been quite fond of Karloff's more 'serious' roles. The role of both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a hard one to play and Karloff shows with this movie that he has more than enough adequate abilities to play a more heavy and serious role. It's too bad he had never been given a change in a true serious and heavy movie. In that time it still was; once an horror actor, always an horror actor. Something that had probably prevented him from getting any bigger and more serious roles. His presence of him in this movie truly uplifts the movie to an higher level. It might not be his best role but his presence alone- and acting is more than enough to make a lasting impression.

The movie is made in a good style which reminded me of the good old horror classics from the '30's. The movie looks good in both style, as well as its costumes, sets and cinematography.

The story always flows well and is actually also quite well written. It makes the movie just as amusing as interesting to watch. It obviously takes lots of liberties with the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel but it has been done all for the good of the movie and its humor. It has some well written humor and comical characters, which both works out equally well in the movie. It makes this movie as a comedy an highly effective and successful one.

A really great- and well made comedy, that too be honest, surpassed my expectations.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
"I'm doin' all the drinkin' and you turn into a mouse."
classicsoncall20 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
By the time they were through, Abbott and Costello got to mix it up with just about all of Universal Studios' iconic monsters; here they take their mayhem over to England to exchange pleasantries with Boris Karloff and his portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Karloff has a turn at a variation of the Wolfman gimmick, becoming the Hyde monster whenever he injects himself with a drug designed to do just that. He's been experimenting with concoctions that turn people into animals, and before it's all over, Lou Costello winds up as a large mouse and a derby wearing version of Hyde himself.

As in many of their films there's also a romantic angle, this time with Helen Westcott and Craig Stevens doing the honors, to the consternation of Dr. Jekyll. Vicky Edwards (Westcott) has been Jekyll's ward since childhood, and he fancies himself a candidate to be her husband. This May/December match up is not going to work, so Jekyll figures to make things rough for Bruce Adams (Stevens) in the romance department. The London police department is turned on it's ear in search of monsters showing up all over the city after Tubby (Lou) takes a syringe full of serum.

Having seen this film many years ago as a kid, the one bit I remembered best was the rooftop scene with Slim (Bud), Adams, and the two Mr. Hydes doing the gag around the chimney. It was just one of the many scenarios requiring orchestrated timing, a hallmark of their comedies.

This was Abbott and Costello's second screen pairing with the legendary Boris Karloff, the first time was in 1949's "A and C Meet the Killer". Oddly, Karloff did not reprise the role he created for "A and C Meet Frankenstein", believing that spoofing his creation wouldn't sell audiences. Even in the Jekyll and Hyde movie, he seems to carry an air that wants to rise above the slapstick. For Bud and Lou though, the gimmicks don't run out until the very end, when in the final scene the police inspector (Reginal Denny) and four of his men all become Hyde monsters after taking a "wolfman" bite from Tubby - Yikes!!
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Karloff returns, and there are two of them!
mark.waltz1 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Bud and Lou have their hands full in this Gothic comic thriller where a mad man is on the loose in Hyde Park in London, and no clues are in evidence as to who it may be. Of course the audience knows from the beginning, because with for legend Boris Karloff highlighting this movie and top featured billing, he ends up being the obvious suspect, at least in the audience's mind. He is a doctor of great renown who has a secret life, and as he explains, it is for the good of society. He wants to discover what in the human brain causes mankind to become violent, and with Christmas carols on his mind, wishes peace on earth and goodwill towards men. But Abbot and Costello are soon on to him, however nobody else will believe them.

There are several highlights of this delightful follow up to the previous horror spoofs that Abbott and Costello had made, and a double dose of irony and in a reminder Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, there is a scene in a museum where Lou hides out from Mr Hyde while in countering dummies of both Dracula and the Frankenstein monster. Karloff had not appeared in that film, and while he dummy monster looks more like Glenn Strange then Karloff, it is obvious that the Dracula dummy was influenced by Bela Lugosi, only adding a slight goatee to his wax double. A hysterical scene involving a cat and a head all of a sudden tossed by Costello, leads to a scene that had my belly aching in laughter. Then when Lou drinks a person that turns him into a man sized mouse or at least his head, is also very funny, as is the chase sequence where you come the 2nd Mr Hyde, disrupting a pleasant day in a park. All in all, this is almost as good as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and definitely the second best in their series of horror spoofs.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
One of the Better Abbott And Costello Films
gavin694218 October 2015
Two bumbling American cops (Tubby and Slim) hunt for the mysterious Mr. Hyde (Eddie Parker) in London, England.

For whatever reason, the more popular Abbott and Costello horror films seem to be with them meeting Frankenstein, the Mummy or "the killer". But this one is really exceptional, with great makeup and transformation scenes and plenty of humor. It also happens to be one of the few that could arguably called scary.

I have credit Eddie Parker as Hyde because he should be recognized. With all due respect to Boris Karloff, Parker made the role with his jumping around and acting the part of the monster. Parker was such a huge figure in Hollywood, but no one has ever heard of him. (Somebody please write a book about him.)
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews