Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Produced by Rouben Mamoulian
Written by Novel: Robert Louis Stevenson
Screenplay: Samuel Hoffenstein & Percy Heath
Starring Fredric March
Miriam Hopkins
Rose Hobart
Music by Herman Hand
Cinematography Karl Struss
Editing by William Shea
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) December 31, 1931
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This is for the 1931 version of the film, which was hidden away for a number of years from the 1940s after it was bought by MGM and buried so as to not over-shadow the 1941 Spencer Tracy version.

It is a pretty good 1930s horror film that was on par with the A-grade monster movies that Universal was making. This was made before the movie code came in, so the film’s plot heavily focuses on S.E.X., whether it be Dr. Jekyll wanting to get married to his fiance so that they can finally do it, or the overt sexuality of prostitute Ivy Pearson. Then there is also Mr. Hyde, who is a sex craved pervert of the lowest order.

There are a couple of other things to mention in relation to the film too. The transformation scenes where Frederic March‘s Jekyll becomes Hyde are really great and I suspect may have inspired Universal when they created their werewolf films. The make-up too is quite iconic and effective, better than that used in the 1941 version where Hyde looks like Spencer Tracy with messed up hair.

The only thing that I find annoying is the pronunciation of the word Jekyll. They are constantly calling the good doctor Jay-kill which is completely different to the way the name has been pronounced since then. It is just a minor quibble but it is something that I thought that I needed to mention.

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