99. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

***The great movie (and other stuff) website Wonders in the Dark has just started a 100-strong countdown of science fiction movies that’ll be running for the next few months. I’ve volunteered to write a couple of the entries; my first effort appears today. While I was writing it, it struck me that, if you leave to one side the fantasticated elements, you have here a movie that’s not so very far off a period noir.

Wonders in the Dark

Jekyll - 0

by John Grant

This is widely regarded as the best screen version ever made of Stevenson’s classic tale. Alarmingly, we’re lucky to have it. When MGM was preparing to release its 1941 adaptation, with Spencer Tracy in the dual role, the company, in an act of cultural philistinism that’d almost surpass belief were it not that there have been other examples, sought out and destroyed every print of the 1931/2 adaptation that it could find. It was not until 1967 that a print of the Mamoulian movie was uncovered, and even then it was only the post-Code reissue of 1936, from which about eight minutes had been cut (from the middle of the first transformation to the middle of the second, which must have made things pretty confusing for audiences). At last, in 1994, an unbowdlerized print was discovered, so that now we’re free to watch it in all its…

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2 thoughts on “99. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

    • No. I was creating what I thought was a private, passworded post for Sam to copy’n’paste into Wonders in the Dark; little did I realize that WordPress was merrily telling the world about this deliberately non-public item. Grr!

      At some stage I’ll make the full piece visible here; at the moment, obviously, if you can face the prospect of reading more of it you simply click the “View original post” link to its WitD appearance.

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