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The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)

 -  Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  3 May 1961 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,132 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 23 critic

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Paul Massie ...
Dawn Addams ...
...
Paul Allen
David Kossoff ...
Dr. Ernst Litauer
Norma Marla ...
Maria
Francis De Wolff ...
Inspector
Joy Webster ...
Jenny
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Storyline

Dr. Henry Jekyll is a dull, bookish scientist who spends more time with his lab animals testing theories of alternate personalities than with his beautiful, young wife. Kitty Jekyll has given up trying to find any passion in her distant, preoccupied husband and is involved in an affair with one of Jekyll's old 'friends,' Paul Allen, a weak slacker and wastrel who relies on Jekyll to pay his numerous gambling debts. After experimenting on himself, the bearded, tweedy Jekyll transforms himself into the young, dynamic, and self-confidant Edward Hyde. In his new character he befriends Allen, who has no idea that this clean-cut, handsome playboy prone to outbursts of violence is really Jekyll. As Hyde, he encourages Allen to introduce him to the dark underbelly of London's night life including opium dens and sex clubs, where he begins an affair with the sensual courtesan Maria, an exotic dancer and snake charmer. When he tries to seduce Allen's mistress, in reality his own wife, he is ... Written by duke 1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes, Terror Has A Handsome Face. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

3 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of Fright  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1874. See more »

Quotes

Maria: [In her dressing room] Your friend talked to me like a common whore.
Dr. Henry Jekyll: In all fairness he never implied you were common.
Maria: [She takes off her mask and Hyde is struck by her exotic beauty] Just how much money did you have in mind, Mr. Hyde?
Dr. Henry Jekyll: I would not insult so beautiful a woman by offering her anything so trivial.
Maria: [Dismissively] So, thank you for your politeness, but good night.
Dr. Henry Jekyll: Don't mention it.
[She walks into her bedroom and he confidently follows]
Maria: I have to dress.
Dr. Henry Jekyll: Don't let me prevent you.
Maria: But I ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Jekyll & Hyde (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

A Hammer In Hyde-ing
28 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you've seen this offbeat entry in the stable of Hammer's early remakes of the classic horror's then you've either encountered this rarity on ebay or caught it on TV or the cinema ages ago.

I was fortunate enough to copy a friend's video cassette that was offered briefly in the U.S. in the early nineties only on EP speed and mastered from a fading,reddish,16mm pan and scan T.V. version that had the word "Hell" bleeped out twice.

Seeing as how the studio had done well with adult color versions of Dracula,Frankenstein and The Mummy it would seem like a natural for them to tackle The Robert Louis Stephenson story with their usual teaming of Lee and Cushing and with the appropriate amount of blood and thunder, Alas,they opted for an ambitious and riskier approach to go for more sexual innuendo ,Freudian subtext and underplayed classiness.All of these things are good when they work but unfortunately the pace is very leaden and the horror aspects of the story have been made extremely tame in order to get away with the psycho sexual aspects which must have been titillating for 1960 but not so much anymore. The best part of The Movie is watching Christopher Lee make the most of a very juicy supporting role as a likable womanizer with a gambling problem who seduces Jekyll's neglected wife and constantly puts the touch on the Doc for money. Lee wisely sets aside his Shakespearean tendencies and gives a a very believable non-hammy characterization.It would have been nice to have Cushing pop up as Jekyll's medical compatriate but sadly,no.

Paul Massey has the far more difficult dual role but really can't pull it off opposite a pro like Lee and the film suffers for it. Part of the fault must lie with the script and the usually talented direction of Terrance Fisher. Massey is better in the under realized but tortured role of the boorish Dr. Jekyll, who is not as philanthropic in this version. As the bratty and somehwat naive Mr Hyde Massey is Handsome but vaguely sounds like Winnie The Pooh and is far to easily foiled in his attempts at evil until the final 20 minutes.

The concept of Hyde using the transformation to finally allow Jekyll to get some action with wifey Dawn Adams and to revenge himself for the adultery of best friend Lee was novel but without the suspense or the colorful violence of the previous Hammer vehicles this one will disappoint many fans of the genre. If you are a fan of the studio and want to see a lost curio by all means go for it. It's not a bad film jut slow and misguided and if you have an eye for the ladies then relax and enjoy the scenery because it's adorned with lot's of feminine eye candy. Look for Oliver Reed in a small part as a pimp in the first twenty minutes or so. At this point I don't think it's been offered to DVD.


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