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  • Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde [VHS]
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Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde [VHS]

198 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert, Halliwell Hobbes
  • Directors: Rouben Mamoulian
  • Writers: Percy Heath, Robert Louis Stevenson, Samuel Hoffenstein
  • Producers: Adolph Zukor
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301967410
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,985 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Classy MGM was not the studio most likely to make a horror movie in 1941, and in fact its production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ended up looking more like a glossy costume drama than a B-movie frightfest. The mood of Robert Louis Stevenson's tal

Amazon.com

Fredric March won an Oscar® for playing the protagonist (and antagonist) of Robert Louis Stevenson's story. Dr. Henry Jekyll is an honorable man of science, albeit frustrated at the enforced celibacy of a delayed wedding date. Hyde is the fearsome creature he turns into after drinking a potion, and Hyde's appetites (mostly expressed with Miriam Hopkins's Cockney dance-hall wench) are decidedly unrestrained. March's performance is pretty theatrical, but it's fun to watch; his Hyde twitches and squawks and lopes around like an ape in a tuxedo. Rouben Mamoulian's direction has plenty of the brio of early-thirties Hollywood, and the transformations from Jekyll to Hyde are ingenious for the time. This film followed Dracula and Frankenstein into theaters by a few months, and it stands well with those horror classics--and it's a darn sight more fun (and much more down and dirty) than the 1941 MGM version of Stevenson's tale. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Louis Barbarelli on February 8, 2004
Format: DVD
This is a two-sided DVD that contains two versions of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. As many other reviewers here have said, the 1932 Frederick March version is far superior to the 1941 Spencer Tracy version. The older version, directed by a 34-year-old Rouben Mamoulian, is a masterpiece and part of movie history. The later version, directed by Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming, seems like an uninspired copy of the earlier one. Frederick March understood the role and seemed to revel in it. But, oddly, while he overacts a bit as Jeykyll, he seems totally believable as the monstrous Hyde. Tracy seemed uncomfortable with both personalities, playing Jekyll as too much of a saint and Hyde as too much of a leering sadist. March conveys the personality of Hyde as joyfully enervated by the full release of Jeykll's baser instincts. His Hyde has fun with his own badness. Tracy's just drowns in it.
The special effects in the older version are also superior, and there is lyrical Freudian symbolism in the sets, statues, paintings, etc, that really adds to the drama and continually reminds us of Mamoulian's power as a visual director. The newer version attempts some symbolism (for example, the two whipped horses transform into the two leading ladies) but its symbolism is so heavy handed that it makes the earlier film seem profoundly subtle by comparison.
Even the makeup in the older version is superior. In the Tracy version, Mr. Hyde's appearance seems inconsistent from cut to cut within the same scene. And the use of a masked double for Tracy, even in non-stunt scenes in the London fog, is painfully obvious. You don't even need to pause the DVD to see it.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mark Norvell on November 9, 2003
Format: DVD
There's the silent 1920 version with John Barrymore, there's the lamentable 1941 version with Spencer Tracy (and an excellent Ingrid Bergman), and then there's Rouben Mamoulian's classic 1931 version which brought Fredric March an Oscar as Jekyll/Hyde. This, to me, is the best. Not only is March's Hyde a hideous monster but the carnality between Jekyll/Hyde and the Cockney bar wench Champagne Ivy (Miriam Hopkins) is more explicit. This was Pre-Code Hollywood. Rather faithful to Stevenson's story, the film is brilliantly cast and directed. The atmosphere of 1800's London is thick with Victorian attitudes on one end and soaked with sex and sin on the other. It is between these two worlds that Dr. Henry Jekyll finds himself torn after experimenting with mind (and personality) altering drugs that bring out the bestial Mr.Hyde. The transformation scenes are well done for 1931. London's tawdry side of town is where Hyde seeks out the lustful Ivy and takes her forcibly as his mistress. Jekyll had already met her while "slumming" with a friend. Her image stuck with him as her bare garter-clad leg dangled seductively in his mind while her voice purred, "You'll come back, won't you?" But it's Hyde who goes back and dooms the helpless Ivy to a life of hell. In one of the scarier moments, Hyde hisses at the terrified Ivy "I'll show you what horror is!" And proceeds to do so. March deserved the Oscar for his masterful portrayal of the dual personality that is Jekyll/Hyde and Hopkins is perfect as Ivy. Rose Hobart is Jekyll's wealthy fiancee and the rest of the cast is grand. The classic organ score adds the right creepiness and morbid tone for this beautiful b&w melodrama. A welcome addition to DVD and a collector's dream, 1931's "Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde" is a horror classic and not to be missed by afficianados.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2009
Format: DVD
... and that would be the deletion of the 1941 version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and replacing it with the 1932 version of the same film. The 1932 version was made before the production code went into effect and allowed you to see Mr. Hyde in all his debauchery along with Miriam Hopkins as the girl of the street caught in his grasp. The two are available as a double feature in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941).

Frea ks (1932) was misunderstood at the time of its release, but is now highly regarded as a horror classic. Director Tod Browning really had a vacuum to fill after Lon Chaney's death ended their successful partnership. This film is an example of his finest work post-Chaney. It is about Hans, a little person in a circus attracted to a beautiful but evil woman who marries Hans for his money and plans to murder him. When the other circus "frea ks" find out about Hans' bride's plans, they extract a cruel but fitting revenge. This film is available in a more deluxe edition that includes commentary. Audiences were troubled by this one when it came out because people with actual disabilities were used rather than actors and actresses in makeup.

The Haunting (1963) is more effective in this version than in the 1999 version with all of the special effects. You actually never see anything in this film - you just hear the sounds and experience the horror of Julie Harris' character as she stays in a haunted house along with a group of people as part of an experiment framed by a psychiatrist. This is currently available separately as
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anyone know where I can get the 1913 version?
They have it on VHS at the Turner site: http://turnerclassic.moviesunlimited.com/product.asp?sku=688813++
Oct 30, 2008 by Manco |  See all 5 posts
jeckl/hyde..spencer vs. march Be the first to reply
jeckl/hyde..spencer vs. march Be the first to reply
1932 version of "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" DVD not uncut. Be the first to reply
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