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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more unattractive than a woman with the man hands...
I knew there'd been quite a few versions and variations on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both in film and on television, but I never realized how many until I did a little research. There are at least thirty listed on the internet movie database, many of which I hadn't even heard of, much less seen. Of the one's I'm familiar with, the...
Published on October 26, 2004 by cookieman108

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOVELY BUT LETHAL
In a clever gender-bending twist on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale, the research done by Dr. Henry Jekyll(Ralph Bates) involves experimentation with female hormones. The inevitable Jekyll-into-Hyde transformation takes place, and he changes into a ravishing female version of himself(movie siren Martine Beswick). Hammer Films' 1971 "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde"s...
Published on February 27, 2002 by Brad Baker


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more unattractive than a woman with the man hands..., October 26, 2004
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This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
I knew there'd been quite a few versions and variations on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both in film and on television, but I never realized how many until I did a little research. There are at least thirty listed on the internet movie database, many of which I hadn't even heard of, much less seen. Of the one's I'm familiar with, the versions with John Barrymore (1920), the Fredrich March (1931) and Spencer Tracy (1941), all three stick fairly close to the original source material. In Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971), the story is carried one step further, which should be evident from the title (I will say I wasn't really surprised to learn this film came out at the time it did, as the late 60's/early 70's brought with it a time of challenging social mores and just generally sticking it to the establishment...this ain't your father's Jeykll and Hyde).

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, who did films for both Hammer Studios (Quatermass and the Pit, Scars of Dracula) and its' rival Amicus (Asylum, The Vault of Horror), the film stars Ralph Bates (Taste the Blood of Dracula, Lust for a Vampire), along with three time Bond girl Martine Beswick (Dr. No - actually, her part in this one was pretty minimal, but I'll still count it, From Russia with Love, and Thunderball). Also appearing is Gerald Sim (The Man Who Haunted Himself), Lewis Fiander (Dr. Phibes Rises Again, and Susan Broderick, who really has few credits, this film being her most notable role.

As the film begins, Dr. Jekyll (Bates) is working on a universal panacea, or, one serum to cure many different diseases (the film appears to be set in sometime in the early 19th century, so there was plenty of work to do in this area). His friend and colleague, and also a very naughty womanizer (guess where this leads to), Professor Robertson (Sim) worries that Jekyll is working too hard, and points out that Jekyll will probably never complete his experiment as the time required to develop a cure for each disease, much less combining them into one cure-all serum, would take longer than one man's life span. Jekyll concedes to this truth, and decides to instead develop a formula that will extend a person's life, the key being female hormones (the thinking is women tend not to age as poorly as men, what with their ability to keep their hair and suppleness of skin). His results seem promising, but, as we all know, the proof is in the pudding, so Jekyll tries the serum on himself, and presto chango (literally) he turns into a woman, whom he explains away to his nosy neighbors as his widowed sister, Mrs. Hyde (Beswick). The problems arise in that in order to produce the serum, Jekyll needs certain hormone producing organs, located within women, and the local coroner (who's a real freak, I might add), can no longer fill Jekyll's needs, so Jekyll resorts to dismembering live women, mainly prostitutes (sometimes you have to do bad to do good), but the local authorities, not caring for all the dead bodies piling up, are hot to find this serial killer, so Jekyll uses his alter ego, Sister Hyde, to perform the grisly task. Only problem now is Sister Hyde is beginning to exert her will, vying for dominance over Dr. Jekyll as to who will ultimately control the one body shared by two, separate personalities. So, who will win? (I'm rooting for Sister Hyde, as she's pretty hot...)

I had some trepidation about this film, as the advertising (mainly that for the U.S.) focused on the kinkier bits, but that was just one, small aspect of the movie as a whole. I really enjoyed this movie, one that many consider to be one of the last, great Hammer Studios outings before they, along with the entire British film industry went down the tubes. Ralph Bates is really good as Jekyll, presenting a man torn between not only if his criminal actions justifying the means, but also struggling against a seemingly superior will in that of Sister Hyde. Bates was being groomed by Hammer to be one of their next new, young stars, as their most notable stars, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were aging and commanded hefty fees now that their popularity was established. Bates might have assumed the mantle, had not the industry took a nosedive. Beswick is also very good, playing Jeykll's very sexy, evil female alter ego. The casting here was pretty inspired, along with the make up, as Bates and Beswick actually do share similarities, so the notion that they were one in the same was highly believable. Baker's direction works very well, evoking the style of the old, Universal horror films, while maintaining a contemporary attitude. I did enjoy the inter-cutting of like scenes, for example in the beginning when Jeykll is butchering a woman and we also see a butcher trimming a rabbit. The violence is mainly off screen, but there is a good amount of blood. I thought it kind of odd as the film had a particularly high body count and given the relatively small area where most all of the murders occurred, it served only to highlight the ineptness of the local authorities. The sets felt authentic, adding much to the film, but I think they were used in previous Hammer films as I could swear I recognized a few of them, specifically Jeykll's laboratory, from another film.

The widescreen print by Anchor Bay looks good, although, as another reviewer has already stated, the aspect ratio is such that a small part of the picture gets cropped out. Special features include a commentary track by star Martine Beswick, director Roy Ward Baker, and writer/co-producer Brian Clemens, moderated by historian Marcus Hearn, along with a theatrical trailer, radio spots, poster and still galleries, as well as some detailed talent bios.

Cookieman108
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOVELY BUT LETHAL, February 27, 2002
By 
Brad Baker (Atherton, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
In a clever gender-bending twist on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale, the research done by Dr. Henry Jekyll(Ralph Bates) involves experimentation with female hormones. The inevitable Jekyll-into-Hyde transformation takes place, and he changes into a ravishing female version of himself(movie siren Martine Beswick). Hammer Films' 1971 "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde"s plot unravels slowly as the camera winds down foggy, moon-lit London streets. The edgy pace picks up, however, hustling to a typically thrilling ending. Once promoted as the new, younger Christopher Lee, Ralph Bates has the lead role. Sadly, he died young at age 51 of cancer. The distaff Hyde is played by exotic Martine Beswick, who was lovely as Bond Girls in 2 films. She danced in "One Million BC" for Hammer, and was awarded the lead in it's sequel, "Prehistoric Women". Today she runs a furniture moving business in London. Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker directed "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde". He is perhaps best known for the early Titanic classic "A Night to Remember". This Technicolor DVD is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. It is uncut, with 3 provocative minutes never seen in American theaters. You get a trailer, radio spots, bios, and a fascinating audio commentary with the director, writer, and Beswick. Their memories of the inner workings of Hammer Films is delightful. This is a great spin on an old tale, and Bates and Beswick are excellent as two halves of the same whole.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than FROM HELL, April 4, 2005
By 
Kevin Killian (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
Give this one a chance, for very few movies (horror genre or otherwise) have been built upon an uncanny resemblance between two stars, one male, one female, and DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE has a sort of gritty vitality that lifts it out of the ordinary Hammer league. Partly this is to the credit of Roy Ward Baker, but mostly it is due to the inspired playing of Ralph Bates and his female counterpart Martine Beswicke, each of them looking glorious and evil in what has become the signature role in both careers. Bates must have been an awfully small man; Martine B towers over him like King Kong over Fay Wray--not that you see them both in the same shot, but you can measure them visually because both use the same sets and in a lot of cases, Ralph Bates barely comes up to the doorknob of the Edinburgh laboratory where Jekyll does his foul work.

Beswicke's dark eyes and pouting, petulant lips will remind 21st century fanboys of Angelina Jolie, maybe a little slighter, but even scarier in the part of Sister Hyde. It's a little kinky I suppose that she's "really" a man, but Ralph Bates never really gets himself in any sex situations he can't extricate himself from. I guess that would have been too much even for the decadent 70s phase of Hammer films in which nudity and Lesbianism became de rigueur (Bates had just come off LUST FOR A VAMPIRE when assigned this film).

Listening to Ward Baker, Brian Clemens and Martine on the commentary track makes you realize how much was lost first by Ralph Bates' curtailed career, then by his death. He really was a marvellous actor, even if he was short (he was able to project on screen so that audiences read him as tall and commanding).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning chiller from Hammer, September 27, 2005
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
One of Hammer's finer productions of the 1970s, DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE offers a refreshing slant on the oft-told Robert Louis Stevenson tale. With direction from Roy Ward Baker (THE VAMPIRE LOVERS) and a sweeping lush musical score by David Whitaker, this is an enjoyable ride.

Ambitious and naive Doctor Jekyll (Ralph Bates) sets out to create vaccines for dangerous diseases but instead stumbles across a serum taken from the glands of young females. Using himself as a human guinea pig, he takes the potion and is transformed into a female version of himself. Using the alias of Mrs Hyde (Martine Beswick), his widowed sister, he sets out to harvest the glands of young female victims. With the body-count rising and Jekyll/Hyde's life spiralling out of control, madness is only around the corner... Adding complications is Jekyll's young female neighbour Susan (Susan Broderick) who develops a crush on him, while her brother Howard (Lewis Fiander) becomes infatuated with the elusive Mrs Hyde.

Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick handle the complicated title roles well, and really do look like each other. The transformation sequences are handled with great skill and the final scene (where the two continually morph) is amazing. Susan Broderick and Lewis Fiander make the most out of thankless, one-dimensional roles. Art director Robert Jones recreates the gaslight setting of the story with great success. With Julia Wright, Ivor Dean, Tony Calvin, Dorothy Alison, Paul Whitsun-Jones, Gerald Sim and Philip Madoc.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cropped SEVERELY to 1.85:1 rather than shown properly., June 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
This DVD was made using a "master" which was cropped in on the sides and then severely cropped down from the top and up from the bottom to yield the much sought-after concept of "letterboxing" at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which is altogether too narrow. Films made at this time in Britain were to be shown at 1.66:1 at the most, and as a result of the cropping-on-the-sides and cropping-top-and-bottom what you see on this DVD is missing QUITE a bit of visual information on All Four Sides. You might as well be watching the actual film through a mailslot in a door. This is not the first title Anchor Bay has cropped inaccurately, erring unfortunately on the side that says, "make it fit Academy ratio, even if we show less than we should". At one time AB argued it cropped to Academy ratio to conform to anamorphic standards, but that's bogus. A film can be shown anamorphically at 1.66:1. What IS a big shame is that this title will probably not be re-released in a more complete visual form. The audio commentary from paricipants Roy Ward Baker and Martine Beswick is most welcome, however, and a good enough reason to watch. Just know that visually, you're missing a lot of what you should be seeing -- this entertaining film isn't framed properly, and quite a bit of visual information available even in the Lumiere VHS version is missing from the DVD. Release to DVD is no insurance against bad handling, unfortunately, and even by AB, which is doubly shocking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High-grade B movie, November 27, 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
I enjoyed this movie. By modern standards, the gore is subdued, and the acting is first rate. It runs a tight one and a half hours, and the plot zips right along. As the movie extras reveal, the sets were borrowed from other, higher budget movies, so there is nothing cheap about the look of the film. I'm glad someone thought enough of this film to put it on DVD.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Pass This One By!, October 25, 2002
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
If you're a horror fan over the age of 35, you probably remember some of the old horror flicks from Hammer Studios. Some of them were creepy, some of them silly, and some of them downright awful. But a few of them were really good. `Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde' is one of the good ones that horror fans should rediscover.
Dr. Jekyll (Ralph Bates) sits in his laboratory, lamenting the fact that man will never live long enough to cure many of the diseases that afflict humanity. Jekyll discovers that by injecting female hormones into a male fly, he can greatly extend the life of the fly. He tries the experiment on himself. Then he notices that the fly is no longer male. Oops.
Jekyll's alter-ego, whom he explains away as his sister, Ms Hyde (Martine Beswick), quickly becomes responsible for all kinds of mayhem. The running dilemma in the movie becomes "Who will win the battle for control of Jekyll's body? Man or woman?"
I didn't really expect much from `Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde,' but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, the film has plot holes everywhere, but director Roy Ward Baker focuses on the story and keeps it moving well with a few interesting (and humorous) romantic subplots. Yet the most remarkable element of the film is in its casting. Bates and Beswick bear an uncanny resemblance to one another, making the film's premise believable and enjoyable. So sit back, and enjoy a really fun horror film from the imaginative 70's. And tell yourself that those Hammer films weren't so bad after all.
97 minutes
Rated R for violence and brief nudity
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underated flick from Hammer Films, September 27, 2001
By 
chucky (veazie, me usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE is a very good movie. This is the bizaar tale of how one man-and one woman try to exist in the same body. RALPH BATES plays Dr. Jekyll, a man working on a potion that will change him forever. MARTINE BESWICK plays evil SISTER HYDE and goes on a killing rampage. The plot twists when she falls in love with another man, complicating Mr. Hyde's character. At times, this movie tries to be romantic, but in the end, it all ends up tragic! A very different horror movie from most Hammer films. I guess that's why I recommend it, because it is different. This version contains an additional 3 minutes of footage not seen in previous versions of the film! Order today!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whether Male Or Female, Dr. Jekyll Is A Vicious Serial Killer, September 16, 2008
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This review is from: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (DVD)
Was this the best theatrical version of Jack the Ripper I've ever seen? Or was it the best theatrical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? All I know is that Hammer Film Productions produced another winner with "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde." According to this tale of gothic horror, the infamous Jack the Ripper was actually Dr. Jekyll.

Dr. Jekyll is working hard to find the elixir of eternal life. Female hormones seem to be the solution. At first he acquires fresh corpses of young women from two unscrupulous grave robbers. Unfortunately, when the grave robbers are brought to justice, the good doctor must begin killing prostitutes in order to acquire the female hormones.

Dr. Jekyll drinks the elixir which has an unexpected side effect. He turns into his female alter ego. He tells everyone that the woman staying with him is his divorced sister, Mrs. Hyde. Soon Mrs. Hyde begins plotting to kill everyone in Dr. Jekyll's life in order to become the dominant personality.

Fog enshrouded sets, gorgeous costumes, a great musical score, bloody violence, and great acting from the leads create an unforgettable experience in gothic horror. Hammer veterans Ralph Bates ("Taste the Blood of Dracula," "The Horror of Frankenstein," and "Lust for a Vampire") and Martine Beswick ("Prehistoric Women" and "One Million Years B.C.") are perfect as the rival siblings. They actually could pass as twins. They bare a striking resemblance.

The upstairs neighbor, Howard (Lewis Fiander of Narcisco Ibanez Serrador`s "Who Can Kill a Child?"), falls in love with the divorced Mrs. Hyde. Meanwhile, Howard's sister, Susan (Susan Broderick), falls in love with Dr. Jekyll. This leads to quite a dilemma.

"Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde" is highly recommended for fans of gothic horror, Hammer Film Productions, and the legend of Jack the Ripper. Don't let the title fool you. This film is serious horror and well ahead of its time in regards to gender confusion. Audiences in the early seventies must've been extremely repulsed by the idea of a man buying beautiful red gowns because he is confused about his sexuality.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tight little Hammer Thriller with Atmosphere, July 18, 1999
By 
W. Castle "cannon63" (West Point, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This film is a nice little Hammer shocker that is fun. The casting of the leads, Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick, is superb. There is ample atmosphere, fog shrouded England, sex and violence to go around also. I can only say the PG rating indicated must have been for the old U.S. cut when released, as this film is an R. Also nice, is these Republic are now being done in SP instead of the EP before.
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Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde
Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde by Roy Ward Baker
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