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

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Oldie but still a goldie.
stevemullin31 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


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
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Middle tier A&C picture boosted by Karloff's looming presence.
hitchcockthelegend18 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
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Atmospheric A&C comedy is enjoyable nonsense for fans of the duo...
Doylenf12 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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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Rose-tinted Spectacles
Spondonman14 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.
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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.
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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.
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A Badly Faltering Abbott & Costello Comedy/Horror
xyzkozak7 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.
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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!!!
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Atmospheric & Average Bud and Lou…At Times Disturbing
LeonLouisRicci18 April 2016
A&C Fans will most likely be enamored by the Duo meeting another Monster, but Unlike the Others it's Not a "Universal" Monster.

The Atmosphere in this one is Very Good with a lot of Fog, Good Costumes, Superb Transformations and Monster Masks, and a Story that is more Downbeat than most.

Some Things come off as a bit Disturbing. Boris Karloff as Dr. Jekyll Spikes His Arm with a Needle, He could very well have just drunk the Stuff. Speaking of Drinking Costello gets Falling Down Drunk.

There are other Needle Scenes too. A Sub-Plot about the Doctor's Unhealthy Attraction to His Female Ward. Lou Transforming into a Creepy Mouse is a Furry's Fantasy.

Overall, the Plot is not as Silly as Usual and the Comedy is more Slapstick than Verbal. Most of the Gags are Done well Past their Due Date and go on Far Too Long. The Ending is a Never Ending Chase that is as Repetitive as it is Unfunny.

Recommended for A&C and Horror Fans Only.
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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!
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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:





5. LITTLE GIANT (yes, I know most people hate this one but I liked it).
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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 ****
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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.
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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)
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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.
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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.
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"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!!
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Not the best of the monster films from A & C, but a fun time.
eminkl17 October 2019
Not the best of the monster films from A & C, but a fun time. As always, Karloff is a treat to watch, and the immature panic attacks from Lou will leave one in stitches. The only worrying thing about this film, though, is the budget. Instead of the beautiful make-up jobs we've seen on Karloff in the past, here we get a rubber mask that looks really fake and doesn't even move his mouth. Don't expect the best work from the kids, and you can enjoy this ghoulish break.
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"Am I a man or a mouse?" Lou Costello
weezeralfalfa25 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Lou drank one of the potions in Dr. Jekyll's collection, kept in his lab where he experimented with making potions that induced various transformations of people and animals. This potion caused Lou's head to transform into that of a giant mouse. This ability, whether induced by a potion or spell or occurring spontaneously, smacked of witchcraft or magic, thus Dr. Jekyll kept his experiments a secrete. This ability to create chimaeras of animals, including people, is a significant addition to the classic story by R.L. Stevenson. In contrast, in discovering the ability to change himself, physically and morally, into Hyde and vice versa, Jekyll had discovered the opposite: the transformation of a capacity for a mix of moral and amoral thoughts present, if sometimes latently, in every person into 2 distinct personas: one embodying a strictly moral person(Jekyll) and the other a strictly amoral person, such as Hyde, the latter being largely hidden from public view. This ability has a corollary in the real world in drug and alcohol-induced changes in personality, sometimes involving violence, and in multiple personality cases.

Rather like in "A&C meet Frankenstein", there are multiple monsters in this film, although most are of the same kind. Sometime after Costello spontaneously transforms from a mouse back into himself, he accidentally is injected with a serum that causes him to transform into a Hyde-like phase. This confuses people, as they think there is only one such monster who seems to be everywhere....In the classic tale, the Hyde phase of Jekyll eventually kills himself in Jekyll's lab, whereas in this film, he apparently accidentally falls from a window to the sidewalk. Like Costello, 4 police and an inspector turn into their versions of Hyde, after having been bitten by Costello in his Hyde-like phase. This reminds us of Dracula or the Wolfman's ability to transfer their persona to others by biting them. Hyde's head looked like a mix of Wolfman and a Chimpanzee, decidedly more monster-like than the impression from reading the original book. Also, his vocalization was like that of an aggressive monster. Batley: Dr. Jekyll's lab assistant was downright creepy looking and acting, reminding me of Frankenstein's monster, being tall, with a scowling scared face, and being silent.

At times, A&C exhibit their characteristic slapstick humor, and Lou's frequent mugging. However, there is none of their usual verbal humor. Much time is spent chasing or being chased by Hyde or Lou, especially within buildings or on rooftops. This probably appeals to most children, but not to me. My assessment of this film takes into account the probable reactions of children.

Boris Karloff actually only played Dr. Jekyll, even though he is credited with playing Hyde, as well. Stuntman Eddie Packer played Hyde, without being credited! ...Two additional characters were introduced in the persons of Vicky Edwards(Hellen Westcott) and reporter Bruce Adams(Craig Stevens). The latter was sometimes involved in the chase for Hyde. Vicky and Adams were a developing romantic couple, as is found in most A&C films. Vicky was also the object of lust for Jekyll, who would occasionally turn into Hyde and carry her off.
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