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Mary Reilly

4.1 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The classic horror story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde gets a chilling new twist when seen through the eyes of Dr. Jekyll’s devoted maid, MARY REILLY. Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) and John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich), along with writer Christopher Hampton and director Stephen Frears of Dangerous Liaisons, take terror to a new level as the immortal conflict between good and evil is played out in the soul of one man. Equally attracted to her kind employer Dr. Jekyll and his mysterious assistant Mr. Hyde, Mary Reilly must confront her own dangerous desires if she is to survive humanity’s greatest evil.

Amazon.com

Stephen Frears reunites with the production talents who made the tempting Dangerous Liaisons for this new look at the infamous Dr. Jekyll (a deft John Malkovich). Instead of being in the laboratory where the good doctor unlocks his evil twin, we stay in the mansion overlooking the lab. An inquisitive, proper maid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) slowly becomes Dr. Jekyll's confidant. Rather than a horror story, the film is a spooky mystery that keeps us in the dark, and what a wonderful dark Frears and his designers have fashioned. Roberts carries the movie, digging deep for her best dramatic work to date. Though some may wish she'd show more passion, she holds her emotions appropriately in check. The movie faced considerable, well-documented troubles, including the reshooting of several scenes months after the initial production. This probably affected the finale, which has little impact and nearly ruins a good thing. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Linda Bassett, Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Julia Roberts
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Producers: Norma Heyman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W4UB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,519 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mary Reilly" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 19, 2001
Format: DVD
The movie rolls in and out with fog for a reason. You may argue that you didn't like Julia Roberts so-so Irish accent or that the movie was too slow but if you can't see the method behind the madness of this film let me enlighten you. The whole movie drifts as a nightmare of fog. The slow part is due to this floating horrible sense of dread that drifts you through these mysterious places that would tend to seem normal but aren't for some unexplainable reason. It's clear that the bounds of reality and dream seem to mingle throughout this movie, and in most part is very disturbing because of this almost expressionist like effect. But this effect works together with the music to achieve this feeling of lurking fear. In one scene that really scared me, a normal act by the workers of an eel being skinned later turns into a horrible dream by Mary of the dead thing rising and staring at her. The film goes even further than the normal Jekyll and Hyde duality theme, showing that there is duality in almost everything. The day and the night, consciousness and dream, human and beast, love and lust, and for the most part starts to blend the ideas into the normal course of a servant's everyday life. Although Jekyll and Hyde are a good and evil influence on the film they are not shown as much because it's dreamscape is through that of Mary. So it shows him not as the tortured victim of a supernatural will battle that he saw himself as but as a mysterious, psychotic, nightmare being that fleshes itself out throughout the film as a real person. In fact the whole movie becomes more real as it progresses. The movie is a very good example of psychological, dream-like terror that is often disturbing and one of the better versions of the Jekyll and Hyde story, only bested by the silent John Barrymore version.
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Format: DVD
Julia Roberts as Mary Reilly is wonderful in the film. She gave a sensitive dramatic performance in this artistic film which takes the classic tale of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (played superbly by John Malkovich) in a different perspective - in the eyes of his faithful lady servant, Mary, played by Roberts. Also, in the film is a hilarious participation of Glenn Close. I recommend this movie for serious fans of Julia Roberts. Great Film!
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By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film happens to be a peculiar favorite of mine primarily because the setting, music, and cinematography set the overall haunting atmosphere of the film. Everything about the atmosphere is overshadowing. The film seems to mold the setting as an additional character by accenting the actions of Jekyll, Hyde,and Mary. A particular scene that catches my attention everytime is when Mary plants the flowers in the backyard, and soon afterward the vibrant colors of the flowers do no help "enliven" the space. This is the main reason for why I enjoyed the film because it demonstrates how enviornment forshadows the dangerous activities of the Doctor. However, I do acknowledge there are aspects of the film that are not as strong.There are parts of the film that both distracte, and fascinate me.
The only weak point for me in watching the film is the lack of control in the Irish "accent" from Julia Roberts that filters in and out frequently throughout the film. The acting from the cast is good. John Malkovich's performance was great and as always with a suave seduction that isn't unfamiliar from his previous works. I was surprised however by Julia Robert's portrayal of Mary Reilly. I have never seen Roberts play a character that wasn't "glamorous" to some degree. Mary Reilly is a strong character that has survived abuse, and lived out a good life. I feel that Roberts did convey the sadness and curiosity of the character Mary.
Overall, this film is an enjoyable film, but not a masterpiece or classic. It is a film that is filled with dark corridors, shadows, and fog, all of which add to the story and plight of the principal characters.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film was apparently in theaters for so short a time, I'd never heard of it until I saw it on video. Too bad. Then, when I read reviews of it, Julia Roberts seemed to get universally blasted for her portrayal of the title character. After watching it, I can't imagine why, except that they believe her fans only want to see her in a romantic comedy - this film was apparently promoted as a Roberts vehicle, which it isn't. It is, however, a perfect example of a Malkovich vehicle. He is perfectly cast as the good/evil Jekyll/Hyde in this rendition of the story with its inherently sexual overtones. No matter what you read elsewhere by professional critics, both performances were excellent, and Malkovich and Roberts were wonderful together. In fact, the sexual intensity is so hot, in spite of (or maybe because of) the film's slow pace, I nearly needed a cold shower by the end. As for the complaints about Roberts' accent, I found it amusing that she should be blamed for attempting one, while Malkovich seems to always be criticized for never doing so.
The film as a whole was less than perfect (hence only four stars), but this does not distract from the experience. Specific problems are addressed in a review below this one, however, what I believe caused so much negative publicity was the film's being mercilessly compared to Dangerous Liaisons (same writer, director, also Malkovich and Close). In my opinion, that is like comparing your second, but above average child unfavorably to his genius older sibling - It doesn't imply that Mary Reilly is not worth watching. See it - don't let critics make your decisions for you.
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