Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
This first sound version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic morality tale starred Fredric March as the kindly, philanthropic Dr. Jekyll, who makes the fatal mistake of delving into secrets that Man Should Never Know. Fascinated with the notion that within each man lurk impulses for both Good and Evil, Jekyll develops a drug to release the wickedness in himself. The result: the lecherous, lycanthropic Mr. Hyde (one has to keep reminding oneself that the handsome, soft-spoken March plays both roles; small wonder that he won the Academy Award). Jekyll is the honorable suitor of the virtuous… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Camera trick of changing a central figure from the handsome Fredric March into the bestial, ape-like monster Hyde, carries a terrific punch, but in each successive use of the device -- and it is repeated four times -- it weakens in hair-raising effort."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Fredric March is the stellar performer in this blood-curdling shadow venture."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"There has never been a more inventive nor engaging retelling of this classic story."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"Mamoulian's vision of Dr Jekyll's hidden life in the foggy Victorian underworld is fascinating."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"It's taken from a novel Stevenson feverishly wrote over a period of six-days while snorting cocaine, and is well-served in this film by Mamoulian's excesses."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"'Dr Jekyll' combines gothic horror, aristocratic romance and madcap Freudian psychodrama into a dizzying, exhilirating brew."
‑ Tom Huddlestone, Time Out
"This most enduring adaptation of the Faustian moral fable is totally satisfying."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"While some of the dialogue and acting may now seem arch, this remains a standout take on the classic novel, visually inventive and often surprisingly strong given the era in which it was made."
‑ Jim Hall, Film4
"Powerful performances from March and Hopkins and richly atmospheric cinematography help make for a memorable journey down Stevenson's "strange and terrible road.""
‑ Chris Hicks, Total Film
"Easily the best of the many versions of the Stevenson horror classic."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A remarkable achievement that deserves to be much better known."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Fredric March received his first Best Actor Oscar for playing the titular roles in Mamoulian's moody and haunting version of Stevenson's novella."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's a lurid potboiler which is notable for some superb camera work (a long POV tracking shot at the beginning of the film for example), some innovative early special effects and some of the most deranged overacting you are ever likely to see."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"The 1931 version of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella, directed by the great Rouben Mamoulian, is still the best version there is, far more frightening than the glossy MGM version Victor Fleming made a decade or so later."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Great effects for its time and some incredible performances makes this a true cinema classic."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Rotten Tomatoes