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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968)

This made-for-television adaptation doesn't waste time with preliminaries. Within 15 minutes of its opening, Dr. Henry Jekyll has already experimented on himself with a concoction that he'd... See full summary »



(novel), (teleplay)

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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. George Devlin
Sir John Turnbull
Rex Sevenoaks ...
Dr. Wright
Gillie Fenwick ...
Elizabeth Cole ...
Hattie (as Liz Cole)
Duncan Lamont ...
Sergeant Grimes
Paul Harding ...
Constable Johnson
Tessie O'Shea ...
Tessie O'Toole
Jeanette Landis ...
Liz (as Jeannette Landis)
Liza Creighton ...
Gwyn Thomas
Donald Webster ...


This made-for-television adaptation doesn't waste time with preliminaries. Within 15 minutes of its opening, Dr. Henry Jekyll has already experimented on himself with a concoction that he'd hoped would neutralize his baser instincts but which releases without inhibition his long-repressed animal inclinations. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 January 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rod Serling was the initial screenwriter, but left the production prematurely. See more »


Dr. Lanyon: Gentlemen, have you ever contemplated the horror of eternal damnation?
Dr. Wright: [chuckling] Well, not in terms of myself, no!
Dr. Lanyon: [very serious] Then do contemplate it - in terms of Henry Jekyll.
See more »


Version of Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde (1995) See more »


Soldiers of the Queen
Performed by Tessie O'Shea
See more »

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User Reviews

The best version
18 October 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Of the versions personally seen, only one comes close and that's the Frederic March version. John Barrymore's one is also still very good and Burbank Films Australia's animated version surprisingly good too, didn't care all that much for the Spencer Tracy film but even that wasn't too bad. Before seeing this, I would have considered the March film the best version but now it'd be this one. So good in fact that aside from that it was shot in the video-tape way you forget that you're watching that it was made for TV because everything was so well and professionally done. While I would have preferred the camera work to be more expansive, the video-tape didn't really cheapen things at all. The whole adaptation looks great, the lighting has that atmospheric Gothic touch, the costumes are sumptuous and the sets and the way they look make you feel like you're there in Victorian London and with the characters, which is remarkable for a made for TV film to do. London looks so beautiful and evocatively creepy at the same time, and how the fog is done and used really stands out in terms of visuals and atmosphere. Adding a lot also is Robert Cobert's score, which is very haunting without ever being obvious, it's not as spooky as the score he did for 1973's Dracula(also directed by Dan Curtis and starring Jack Palance, which is also worth seeing but not quite as good) but is so in a different kind of way.

As an adaptation, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may not be word for word, detail for detail to the Stevenson classic with a few changes and additions but actually all the major details are intact and so is the spirit of the story, and it does this more successfully than any of the other versions. The idea of Dr Jekyll being responsible for the crimes due to Hyde not being a whole person, as heard in Devlin's line "You don't understand, do you? Jekyll deserves to die - he's the one who's responsible, not you", was an interesting angle and came off very well, plus it was entirely plausible. The dialogue is very thoughtfully adapted and is well-written dialogue judging it on its own. The story is very suspenseful, the scariest parts actually being genuinely so, and entertaining at all times, especially with any scene with Mr. Hyde, it was good also that it got straight to the point instead of being bogged down by filler, even more remarkable is that it managed to be loyal to such a timeless and well-known story and make it feel fresh.

It is more violent than the other Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adaptations, but not in a gratuitous way. Curtis' direction is as solid as rocks, and the characters carry the narrative beautifully, the most interesting of course is Jekyll/Hyde but the other characters are hardly given short shrift, Devlin actually is just as much and has some of the adaptation's most memorable lines. The performances from all are terrific, the best in support being a sensual Billie Whitelaw and Denholm Elliot in one of his more sympathetic performances. But it is Jack Palance who walks away with the acting honours, as he rightfully should, managing to make Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde completely different from one another without making Jekyll too mannered or dull or Hyde too over-the-top or completely brutish, both of which is what makes this iconic dual role tricky. He does superbly as both Jekyll and Hyde, loved the refinement and nobility he brought to Jekyll, possibly Palance at his most restrained, but he is even better as Hyde, as well as being one of the most physical and brutal in the role he is also the one that comes off the most genuinely scary and passionate, he hams it up just a tad but actually in this case that was what made the performance fun to watch. Overall, a brilliantly done version of a classic and the best version seen so far. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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