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The Ugly Duckling (1959)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  10 August 1959 (UK)
5.8
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Henry Jekyll was always the outsider, a bungling and awkward buffoon, relegated to waiting for his invitation to participate in life that never arrived: until he discovers a medical formula... See full summary »

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Title: The Ugly Duckling (1959)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Victor Jekyll
Reginald Beckwith ...
Reginald
Maudie Edwards ...
Jean Muir ...
Snout
Richard Wattis ...
Barclay
Elwyn Brook-Jones ...
Dandy
Michael Ripper ...
Benny
David Lodge ...
Peewee
Harold Goodwin
Norma Marla
Keith Smith ...
Figures
Michael Ward ...
Pasco
John Harvey ...
Sergeant Barnes
Jess Conrad ...
Bimbo
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Storyline

Henry Jekyll was always the outsider, a bungling and awkward buffoon, relegated to waiting for his invitation to participate in life that never arrived: until he discovers a medical formula developed by a dead uncle, which claimed to turn 'a man of timid disposition into a bold, fearless dragon'. Taking a draught of the elixir Henry is transformed into suave, sophisticated and highly desirable Teddy Hyde. Armed with his new persona, Teddy is ready to face the world; but is Henry ready for the consequences? Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Crime

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10 August 1959 (UK)  »

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Trivia

This is the first of three Hammer adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". The other two are The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971). See more »

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User Reviews

Jolly good fun
25 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on its initial release as the lower half of a double bill,I forget what made up the other half as this is the film that impressed me. The star was Bernard Breslaw a popular comic actor at this time as he was one of the troop of conscripts in a TV show called "The Army Game". A show that was loosely based on the classic "Phil Silvers" or "Bilko" show transported to an English setting. Breslaw played Pvt "Popeye" Poppelwell. This show was popular enough to get a Film Version made called " I only Arsked" Popplewell's catchphrase and Breslaw had a hit single with a song called "Mad Passionate Love" delivered in the style of his Popeye character. N.B IMDb only lists him as appearing in two episodes of "The Army Game" but I remember him as one of the main recurring characters.If it was indeed only two episodes he made a hell of an impact as he is fondly remembered by those who recall the series, fifty years later.

I don't think it is giving too much away to say that "The Ugly Duckling" is a comic updating of the Jekyll and Hyde story. Breslaw in Popplewell mode as Henry Jekyll is a pharmacist working in a chemists shop. He discovers the formula for the Mr Hyde solution and is transformed from the idiot Jekyll into the smooth and dashing Teddy Hyde. As the dashing and handsome Hyde dressed in a natty suit he becomes the fearless leader of a gang of crooks. Breslaws performance in the dual role is terrific. Moving from the bumbling incompetent to the suave master criminal with equal conviction.

One thing to note is that the gag of having Hyde as a handsome womaniser pre dates the same idea used in "The Nutty Professor", with Jerry Lewis making a similar transformation, by four years. I have often wondered if Lewis saw this before making his own version.

Sadly this film is unavailable at the time of writing I would welcome a DVD release to re acquaint myself with it.


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